While I was playing with my son last night, I noticed that two of his milk teeth (his incisors) are showing signs of tooth decay. I brush his teeth twice a day, thinking this is enough to prevent cavities or tooth erosion. I remember asking his pediatrician when I should take him to the dentist and she said anytime. But I didn’t actually think it was necessary anytime soon because up until last night, I didn’t see anything in my son’s teeth that needed prompt attention. I also believe he’s not yet ready to sit on the dental chair and have a doctor examine his baby teeth. Boy, was I wrong!
So when’s the right time for a toddler to go to the dentist? According to Dr. Ed Schooley, vice president and dental director of Delta Dental of Iowa, it is advisable for the child to make his or her first dental checkup after the first tooth shows up, but no later than the child’s first birthday. “Scheduling the first appointment at a young age is a great way to catch oral health problems early, and it also helps the child get acquainted with the dentist and dental office.”
An important reason why children should go for early dental visits is to prevent baby bottle tooth decay. This usually happens because of the child’s long-term exposure to sugary liquids. Now, I have finally pinpointed the culprit. You see, even after I’m done brushing Justin’s teeth before he goes to bed, he still asks for milk before he sleeps. Now, we really must see a dentist this weekend.
What about you? Have you taken your kids to the dentist yet?