Baby-Teeth Basics

When to Book the First Dentist Visit

If your 1-year-old hasn't been to the dentist, book an appointment now. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend having a first checkup by the time your child turns 1. It won't last long -- the dentist can quickly spot early signs of plaque buildup and decay. She'll also make sure his teeth, mouth, throat, and airways are developing properly. Since many dentists suggest waiting until age 3, you're better off taking him to a pediatric specialist in your area. Plus, the kid-friendly atmosphere, including toys, videos, and pint-size chairs will make the experience less intimidating.

The dentist will spend more time discussing your child's oral health and addressing your concerns (such as sore gums or the rate at which teeth are coming in). If your child uses a pacifier, the dentist will probably encourage you to wean him by age 2 to prevent potential bite problems.

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