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The Importance of Early Childhood Dental Visits

“Caries (tooth decay) is the most common chronic disease of childhood. Approximately 60% of children experience caries in their primary teeth by age five.” If decay is left undiagnosed or untreated, it can lead to pain, infection, early loss of teeth, and decreased function. In turn, these adverse events can negatively affect normal growth and development by disrupting one’s nutrition, learning, communication, and other daily activities.

With that, the question "What age should I start taking my child to the dentist?" always arises. The AAPD recommends that every child establish a “dental home” when the first tooth erupts and no later than 12 months of age. The essence of this visit is to not only establish a

trustworthy relationship between the dentist, the patient, and the caretaker at an early age,

but also to address growth and development expectations, evaluate dietary considerations,

discuss preventive techniques, teach proper oral hygiene methods, and provide anticipatory


Being proactive with prevention is preferred to being reactive with treatment. Don’t delay

scheduling your kiddos’ dental visits – Let’s avoid unnecessary negative outcomes!

Pediatric Dentistry V. 40/No. 6 Reference Manual: 12, 18

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