I am “mama” to an active and joyful toddler boy. He is happy and healthy and very curious. Around 6 months of age the happy disappeared for a bit while we experienced the dreaded sleepless nights and unconsolable screaming that came along with some teeth. His bottom two teeth came through without a peep! In fact, I didn’t know he had them until he bit me!
So, at this point, you may be thinking this is about teething. I will address that at some point in the future, but, not today…
When my sons top two teeth came busting through with a vengeance, the first thing I noticed was the small yellow spot in the center of each one. I couldn’t believe it. Could he be missing the enamel from his teeth? I patiently waited until they were fully showing to determine what to do next.
So, today, we will be talking about the importance of getting your little one to the dentist at age one, or within 6 months of the appearance of their first tooth.
“But everyone else said age 3…. Even my pediatrician.”
“What could you possibly do during a visit with a 12 month old??”
First and foremost, just like everything you have heard from the day you found out you were pregnant, each baby is an individual and should be treated as such.
My son, as an individual, needs a bit more diligence when it comes to keeping his teeth plaque free and watching his nutrition. If I wasn’t a dental hygienist I wouldn’t know that. I actually wouldn’t know until I brought him to his first dental exam. And if I had listened to my pediatrician, that would have been at age 3. But, by then he could have had two large cavities on those two front teeth. What a terrible way to start off the dental experience.
Even now, over a year later, my pediatrician still thinks it is just stain on his front teeth every time he checks.
Supporters of the age one exam:
- AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics)
- ADA (American Dental Association)
- AAPD (American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry)
- ADHA (American Dental Hygiene Association)
Why you should bring your little one to the dentist by age one:
- Assessment of the needs and treatment that are specific to your child.
- Cavities are preventable.
- Baby teeth are important and are present until age 12.
- The health of baby teeth can effect the health of adult teeth.
- Cavities in baby teeth can lead to problems including growth, development, and self-esteem.
- Decrease in health care costs.
What you should expect during this visit:
- Discussion about oral health care and nutrition that can effect overall health and dental health.
- Current habits like thumb sucking or pacifier.
- Discussion about tooth development and if your specific child needs fluoride.
- An exam.
- Fluoride treatment
- A cleaning if it is possible.
- Answering all of your questions and concerns.
I know that was a lot to take in, but the bottom line is to not wait to get your little one into the dentist. We prefer to prevent cavities rather than treat them. And I am sure you, your child, and your wallet would prefer that too!
Questions? Let me know!
This post originally appeared on Delaware County Moms Club
, a place I am thankful for that got me started in the blogging world.