You bring your healthy infant to the pediatrician multiple times in the first year, but less than 1% of infants see a dentist by the recommended age of 1. An infant dental screening is about giving parents the correct information on how to care for baby teeth. Much of the information on baby tooth care found in baby books, the internet and even from the pediatricians is out-dated or incorrect! Cavities are preventable, but prevention needs to start early with the eruption of the first tooth. Putting off proper care until a child is 3 or 4 years old is too late, but early prevention can last a lifetime.
At the infant oral screening exam we will cover not only tooth brushing, but also growth & development, medical complications affecting teeth (like ear infections or asthma), feeding issues, dietary practices, speech, trauma, vitamins, toothpaste, and so on. The mouth requires proper cleaning from the very beginning – its no different than cleaning the rest of the baby’s body!
Did you know that cavities on baby teeth don’t hurt?
If you are waiting for your child to “be ready” to see the dentist, stop waiting! We make the dentist office fun and care for each child uniquely. Don’t allow your own fears to stand in your way, most parents are very surprised how much fun children have at the dentist these days. If you are waiting for your child to complain of a toothache – it won’t happen! Baby teeth do not have the same complex nerve signals that adult teeth do. Unfortunately cavities in baby teeth grow silently and are usually very large by the time they are seen with your eyes. By the time a child complains of a toothache, its usually too late to save the tooth and it likely needs to be extracted.
Research shows that children most susceptible to dental cavities are very unlikely to receive early dental care. The study surveyed 2505 children aged 4 and found that 39% had never visited a dentist. Less than 1% of healthy children visited dental clinics by recommended age of 1 year and less than 2% of them by 2 years of age. The study further found that never being to a dental office was associated with few factors such as younger age, poor economic condition of the family, prolonged bottle feeding, and daily consumption of sweetened drinks such as juice.
Can’t find a dentist who treats infants and toddlers?
Pediatric dentists are specialists devoting to treating children, especially those with complex medical needs. This extra training requires years beyond dental school and multiple examinations. You can find a Board-Certified pediatric dentist at ABPD.org. We are happy to see your child at any age. Remember, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!
See you soon~