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Experts Corner

Dentistry

At What Age Should a Child First Visit the Dentist?
by Marc Grossman, DDS

The Tooth FairyThe American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends a child's first dental visit be by 12 months of age. The average child by age 3 has three decayed teeth and that is with only 50% of children seeing a dentist . . . so the earlier the better to prevent problems before they occur.

At this first dental visit, a health history is taken and an assessment of the child's diet and nutition, fluoride adequacy, oral habits, past injuries or trauma, oral development and oral hygiene is performed. Then a clinical oral examination is performed by the pediatric dentist. Following the oral examination, preventive information or recommendations pertaining to diet and nutrition, fluoride, oral habits, injuries, oral development and oral hygiene are presented. If the child has a sufficient number of teeth erupted, they are given a subsequent appointment for a cleaning and topical fluoride treatment.

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