By the time your child is 6 months old, your doctor should assess the likelihood of your child having future dental problems. This may include a dental exam of the mother and her dental history, because the condition of her teeth can often predict possible problems with her child's teeth. If the doctor thinks your child will have dental problems, be sure your child sees a dentist by his or her first birthday or 6 months after the first primary teeth appear, whichever comes first. After your first visit, schedule regular visits every 6 months or as your dentist recommends.
Experts recommend that your child's dental care start at 12 months of age. Babies with dental problems caused by injury, disease, or a developmental problem should be seen by a children's (pediatric) dentist right away. If these dental problems are not limited to the surfaces of the teeth, your baby should also be seen by a children's doctor (pediatrician) or your family doctor.
For more information, see the topics Basic Dental Care, Mouth and Dental Injuries, and Mouth Problems, Noninjury.
For more information, see the topics Basic Dental Care, Tooth Decay, and Oral Cancer.
- U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (2004). Prevention of dental caries in preschool children. Available online: http://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/uspstf/uspsdnch.htm.
- U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (2004). Screening for oral cancer. Available online: http://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/uspstf/uspsoral.htm
|Primary Medical Reviewer||E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine|
|Specialist Medical Reviewer||Arden Christen, DDS, MSD, MA, FACD - Dentistry|
|Last Revised||January 7, 2013|
Last Revised: January 7, 2013
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