Phone (513) 251-5500
June 11th, 2016

Your Child’s First Dental Visit: When Should It Be?

Category: cincinnati dentist, dental health

Did you know? While in previous years, we would have recommended children to have their first dental visit around age 3, we now advise parents to come visit us earlier than that age!

hagen dental dds

We now recommend bringing in your toddler at around 18 months. This is typically about the time when some, but not all, of their baby teeth are in!

Why The Change Now?

We like to see your children to make sure that everything in the mouth is normal! Most children’s baby teeth, also known as primary teeth or even milk teeth, come in with no problems, but sometimes lifestyle factors can affect the health of those teeth…

Let’s dig deeper!

More and more frequently in recent years, for a number of different reasons, the rate of tooth decay in young children is rapidly increasing.

In fact, in recent years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 42 percent of children, from age 2 to 11, have had cavities in their baby teeth. This high percentage of children with dental decay is much higher than in previous years.

family dentist in cincinnati

Why Is This Happening?

This rapid increase in early childhood caries – or ECC – is actually being called an “epidemic” because of just how prevalent it has now become. Early childhood caries (which in the past has also been called baby bottle tooth decay) can develop with infants or toddlers who go to sleep with a bottle in their mouth. Other children might get into the habit of walking around with a “sippy” cup or using a similar kind of cup, where they expose their teeth, for long periods of time, to sugary liquids or foods – such as sugary or starchy foods. That habit can also lead to decay, especially when it happens day after day.

hagen dental in cincinnatiAnother contributing factor is more widespread use of bottled water and the lack of fluoride. Fluoride helps prevent tooth decay because it increases the rate of re-mineralization in the mouth and it slows down the breakdown of enamel in our children’s mouth as well.

Because many children are drinking more water without fluoride, they aren’t experiencing those same benefits.

As mentioned, historically, this kind of tooth decay was not present to the same degree, and therefore most dentists would recommend a child’s first dentist be around age 3. Now you can put a reminder on your calendar to be sure you come in and see us around 18 months!

Your Child’s First Visit to Dr. Hagen: Timing is Everything!

Before getting worried, remember that tooth decay is preventable and bringing in your child earlier to see us is also a key preventative measure you can take. Bringing your child into the dentist can make sure that children’s teeth are coming in as they should!

taking your child to the dentist cincinnati ohio

It’s also an opportunity to talk about any habits that the baby may have that could be contributing to tooth decay.

Clearly, a healthy mouth is something we all want for our kids. When we have a healthy mouth we promote the ability to chew properly, which in turn, impacts a child’s ability to maintain good nutrition. Healthy teeth from a young age also help encourage speech development, it ensures a space for permanent teeth, and it promotes confidence in the long-term.

Starting young helps promote a lifetime of healthy and bright smiles.

Be sure to bring your child in around 18 months so that we can examine their teeth and gums and help you know the proper oral hygiene methods and techniques for their oral health. Before then, be sure that you are giving your children nothing but water at bedtime so that you can avoid sugary liquids or carbohydrates being exposed to teeth all night long. 

Sources/References

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/03/02/cavities-children-teeth/5561911/

 

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