See a Dentist at Age 1
Tooth decay usually starts on the backs of the front teeth, which parents can't see. By the time a child is 3, that could progress to devastating disease.
But what if your 1-year-old is still all gums? Don't see the dentist until some teeth come in. "At my practice, we have an eight-tooth rule -- four on top, four on the bottom," Dr. Keels says. For some babies the rule applies at 12 months; for others, around 18 months.
Ideally, of course, you'll hear "Look, Mom, no cavities." Dr. Krol says, "It's best to make that first visit a positive one, with no decay. One that requires drilling and filling is not a good start."