The short answer is “First visit by first birthday.” That’s the view of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. Pediatricians agree. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that children who are at risk of early childhood cavities visit a pediatric dentist by age 1.
The idea of such early dental visits is still surprising to many new parents. However, national studies have shown that preschool-aged children are getting more cavities. More than 1 in 4 children in the United States has had at least one cavity by the age of 4. Many kids get cavities as early as age 2.
But cavities aren’t all that parents need to learn about their child’s dental health. The age 1 dental visit lets parents discuss:
*How to care for an infant’s or toddler’s mouth
*Proper use of fluoride
*Oral habits, including finger and thumb sucking
*Ways to prevent accidents that could damage the face and teeth
*Teething and milestones of development
*The link between diet and oral health