The American Dental Association (ADA) advises parents to take their babies for a dental checkup within six months after the first tooth erupts, but not later than the first birthday This consultation isn't just for introducing the baby to their dentist; it serves an important purpose. Here are some of the benefits of this first dental consultation:
The Dentist Identifies Congenital Problems
The dentist will use the opportunity to identify any congenital dental problems that the baby might have. Some congenital dental issues affect both the permanent and baby teeth, so this is the best opportunity for their identification. Don't forget that the earlier the problems are detected, the easier the intervention will be. Here are a few examples of congenital dental problems:
- Amelogenesis Imperfecta – This condition is characterized by imperfect enamel formation; the enamel is the outer hard layer of the teeth.
- Gingival fibromatosis – Enlargement or overgrowth of gum tissues as a result of overproduction of collagen.
Treating Emerging Problems
Dental diseases don't just strike permanent teeth; even the baby teeth can be affected, and they need to be treated too. Remember that the baby teeth need to be healthy if they are to perform their function of helping the young one with their speech development and also hold the space for the permanent teeth.
For example, your baby could be developing early childhood carries (ECC), which is also known as babybottle tooth decay (BBTD) without your knowledge. This dental condition, which can lead to missing teeth, affects nearly a quarter of children in the United States. As usual, early intervention will help.
The Parents Get Oral Health Education
The first dental visit isn't just beneficial for the baby; even the parent gets to benefit from the consultation too. The dentist will use the opportunity to educate you on how to take care of your baby's teeth. Here are some of the things you are likely to learn during the consultation:
- How to clean the milk teeth
- The right nutrition for healthy teeth
- Fluoride recommendation
- How to use pacifiers without damaging the baby's teeth
- How to ensure the fluid's you give to your baby doesn't ruin their teeth
Therefore, don't underestimate the value of this first dental consultation; in fact, the benefits outlined above are just a few examples. Hopefully, your baby will grow up with healthy and beautiful teeth with the assistance of a pediatric dentist like Marci Mendola-Pitcher DDS.Share