Parents are often advised to take their child to the dentist at age 3. In reality, age 3 may not be early enough for a child’s first dental visit.
Diets high in sugar, junk foods, juices, and sodas can put your child at increased risk for getting cavities. It is important that children are seen by the dentist early to help parent/guardians establish healthy dietary and oral hygiene habits for their child (ren) and themselves.
So when the first birthday approaches, instead of planning what cake your child will grab into, start planning their dental appointment. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) support that a dental home should be established no later than a child’s first birthday. According to the AAPD, a dental home is defined as the ongoing relationship between the dentist and the patient, inclusive of all aspects of oral health care delivered a comprehensive, continuously accessible, coordinated, and family-centered way.
Establishment of a dental home begins no later than 12 months of age and includes referral to dental specialists when appropriate. This first dental visit allows the dentist to examine the child, educate the parent/guardian, and provide them with advice and strategies to help their child achieve a state of dental health and avoid dental disease. With regular dental care, together, we can help children obtain and maintain a healthy smile for years to come!
For additional questions or to schedule the initial appointment, contact our pediatric dentist, Dr. Kari Cunningham.