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 examination 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 visits to a dentist start within 6 months after the first teeth appear or at 12 months of age, whichever comes first. 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.
Talk with your child's dentist or doctor about the use of fluoride. If needed, your dentist may apply a fluoride gel, foam, or varnish to your child's teeth.
For more information, see the topics Basic Dental Care, Mouth and Dental Injuries, and Mouth Problems, Non-Injury.
See your dentist once or twice a year. Your dentist will examine your teeth and gums for signs of tooth decay, gum disease, and other health problems.
Your dentist may also look for early signs of oral cancer.
For more information, see the topics Basic Dental Care, Tooth Decay, and Oral Cancer.
Other Works Consulted
Canadian Dental Association (2003, revised 2012). CDA position on use of fluorides in caries prevention. Available online: http://www.cda-adc.ca/_files/position_statements/fluoride.pdf.
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal MedicineBrian D. O'Brien, MD - Internal MedicineAdam Husney, MD - Family MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerArden Christen, DDS, MSD, MA, FACD - Dentistry
Current as ofAugust 9, 2016
Current as of: August 9, 2016
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
& Brian D. O'Brien, MD - Internal Medicine & Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Arden Christen, DDS, MSD, MA, FACD - Dentistry
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