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Age One Dental Visit

Why It's Important For Your Baby

By Dr. Joel H. Berg


What About Fluoride?

Finally, while oral hygiene and dietary changes require behavioral change on the part of the child's family, fluoride does not. Optimal water fluoridation requires no effort at all on the part of the family. Fluoride supplements might aid in the process of enamel formation, however, because fluoride works best when the teeth have fully formed and have erupted in the mouth. Treatments can be applied to the child's teeth at your dentist's or pediatric dentist's office and are important and quite routine.

The benefits of prenatal fluoride supplements remain poorly studied. There are many unanswered questions and it is somewhat controversial. Therefore, indications for prenatal fluoride supplementation have not been established. More research is needed to determine the advantages, if any, and the dosage levels for prenatal fluoride supplements.

Opportunity for Promoting the Entire Family's Health

A child's oral health is closely related to the family's overall dental health and hygiene practices. The Age One Visit can educate parents or caregivers on the importance of their own good oral hygiene.

Children are not born with high levels of cavity-causing bacteria in their mouths. They acquire the bacteria from their caregiver, usually their mother, through close contact. These bacteria are transmitted through kissing, sharing eating utensils like a spoon or a glass, sharing food, or cleaning off a pacifier by mouth. The period when a child is most susceptible to acquiring the decay-causing bacteria is quite short, beginning as early as six months of age and continuing through approximately thirty-one months.

There is mounting evidence that a child's oral health is closely tied to his or her mother's. This is why it is important that caregivers of young children promote their own oral health through regular dental visits and proper hygiene habits. The Age One Visit is a good reminder — and a learning opportunity — for proper hygiene and care.

Diagnosis, prevention, education and treatment — the Age One Visit can cover a lot of ground for your baby's first visit to the dentist. Most importantly, the immediate diagnosis and treatment of emerging dental problems, as well as the long-term attention to good oral hygiene, can help build a foundation of good dental health for your child — and your entire family — that will last a lifetime.

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