Associates of Dental Arts
Dr. Gregory Kivett

When Should I Take My Child In For His/Her First Dental Exam?

According to the American Dental Associations, Children should seek dental 6 months after their first tooth erupts but no later than their first birthday. Visiting the dentist will help protect your child from cavities. It will also help lay the foundation for a lifetime of healthy teeth.

It can take as little as 6 months for a tooth to get a cavity which can be a major problem for children because those baby teeth need to last for years. 27 percent of all children under the age of six are suffering from cavities. Good oral hygiene, including visits to a dentist, can make a major difference in the lives of your children.

Besides visiting a dentist, here are some other tips for protecting your children from cavities:

Diet Tips for Healthy Teeth

  • Feed you children a well-balanced diet in accordance with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans published by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
  • Limit your child’s intake of beverages and foods containing fermentable carbohydrates (e.g. juice drinks, soft drinks, milk, and starches) because they contribute to cavities after eruption of the first tooth.

Bottle Feeding

  • “At will” intake of sugary liquids during the day or while in bed should be discouraged.
  • Have you baby finish their bedtime or naptime bottle before going to bed.

Breast Feeding

  • Unrestricted, at-will nocturnal breastfeeding after eruption of the child's first tooth can lead to an increased risk of caries.

Use of a Cup

  • Try to get your child drinking from a cup by their first birthday.
  • At will, frequent use of a training cup should be discouraged.

Home Care

  • Cleaning your children’s teeth following consumption of foods, liquids, or medication containing fermentable carbohydrates as soon as they have their first tooth.
  • Your child's teeth should be checked at home according to your dentist’s recommendation.

If you child has at least one tooth, call your dentist today to set up a consultation. It will make a world of difference for their oral and overall health.


article on children's oral health

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