Baby’s 1st Dental Visit

1st Tooth, 1st Birthday, 1st Dental Visit

By Dr. Reviere - Roots Pediatric Dentistry February 15, 2024

One of the most frequently asked questions from parents is, “When should I take my baby to the dentist?” The answer may be surprising—no later than their first birthday. The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Dental Association, and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry all recommend that a baby’s first dental visit occurs within six months of the eruption of their first tooth or by their first birthday, whichever comes first.

Establishing a dental home by age 1 creates a safe space for your baby to become comfortable with visiting the dentist, and allows parents the opportunity to ask questions and receive education from the pediatric dentist.

Tooth decay is almost entirely preventable, so getting your baby in to see the dentist early can set them up for success! Did you know that cavity-causing bacteria can begin to populate your baby’s mouth even before they have teeth? This is especially true if the baby’s primary caregiver has tooth decay. Harmful bacteria can be transferred through saliva, so kissing your baby, sharing utensils, cleaning their pacifier with your mouth, etc. can pass on the bacteria that cause cavities to your baby. We also see “baby bottle decay” in infants and toddlers from going to bed with a bottle or frequent consumption of other sugary substances like fruit juice from a bottle or sippy cup.

At your first visit, your pediatric dentist will discuss things like common oral conditions in babies, what to expect with teething, and early dental caries preventive care including infant oral hygiene, dietary recommendations, and optimal fluoride exposure. Your pediatric dentist will also start monitoring things like the growth and development of their jaws and other oral structures. Infant oral health is crucial to the overall health of a growing child. Establishing a dental home by your child’s first birthday will prepare them for a lifetime of good oral health.

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