Both advise that children have a dental home by 1 year of age. New studies show that the kinds of bacteria that cause decay can inhabit the mouth even before baby’s teeth make their first appearance in the mouth. These early preventative visits are designed to keep teeth healthy from the moment they arrive in your baby’s mouth. “Oral health is absolutely critical for overall health,” said AAPD President Dr. William C. Berlocher. “Parents know the value of early visits to the pediatrician, but it’s alarming to learn how few parents understand that infants need to see the pediatric dentist before their first birthday.” Our office philosophy is to integrate these “Well-Baby Checks” as a routine part of your baby’s health care.
The added benefit of such visits is often decreased overall costs. “Parents will be surprised to know that taking children to visit a pediatric dentist by their first birthday actually saves money. Studies show that dental costs for children who have their first dental visit before age one are 40 percent lower in the first five years than for those who do not see a dentist prior to their first birthday.”
Where most general dentists would be uncomfortable with examining infants and toddlers, Dr. Berger and Dr. Van Cleave are specially trained to do so. At this visit, we will counsel with parents regarding good oral health habits, how to care for these new teeth, and address any concerns such as frequent snacking, thumb sucking, pacifier use, and bedtime bottle feeding. This is also an opportunity to get your child used to our office at an early age, which can be of great benefit if something does go wrong in the future (such as trauma.)