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February is Dental Health Month!
My baby should really go to the dentist before 12 months old?
12 Months old? Really? That depends… do we want to just fix the problems after they arise and see the dental decay epidemic continue to get worse, or do we want to try to prevent it? Today I saw 4 children under the age of four in the operating room doing fillings, crowns, and baby root canals. Does that sound extreme? It does to most people that do not understand how important "just baby teeth" are until they have no other choice. They don’t understand until their 3 year old is swelling, has pain, and cavities on 19 of their 20 baby teeth like I saw today.
Our national organizations, the AAPD, ADA, AAP, have all stated that children should see a dentist no later than 12 months old? Why? How many kids have cavities at 12 months old? Well, many do… Many do and parents don’t know about them. But more importantly, what we know from research is that most children have developed the bad habits that case decay by 12 months old… sippy cups, bottles, breast feeding at night, sugary snacks, etc. Pediatric Dentists focus on education and prevention before these habits are started, or try to modify these habits while children and young and moldable. Many parents don’t understand the bacteria in their child’s mouth or how it works. We need to identify these high risk children and educate the parents. These children should be seen regularly every 6 months.
I see 1-2 year olds often that have cavities and they are small enough, and they are so comfortable coming to the dental office, that we lay the child in my lap, scoop away the soft cavity, and place a temporary filling with my finger. There is no numbing, no pain, it take about 20 seconds, and we can deal with that cavity in 3-5 years when the child will allow me to fix it much easier. I also see 1-2 year olds where the decay is too far gone, and we need them to cooperate, hold still, open, have it dry in their mouth, and take much longer to repair.
I hear people question this often. We have mountains of research on this subject, and that’s why these guidelines are in place. Regular dental visits starting no later than 12 months is an important factor their health.
During February, Dental Health Month, I have shared the 3 most important steps to keeping a child’s mouth healthy. Those four items are:
Dr. Jeremy Cox DMD
Pediatric Dental Specialists
Did you know that GVMFM has a nursery nook for events?
What's the Nursery Nook? Its a place for moms to go to nurse and change their kiddos diapers in privacy. Its a free service! If you know of any events that you would like to see Nursery Nook at contact me at email@example.com