In order to prevent dental problems, your child should see a pediatric dentist when the first tooth appears, or no later than his/her first birthday.
Bottle feeding for more than 12 months of age may lead to a drastically increased risk.
Pediatric dentists are the pediatricians of dentistry. A pediatric dentist has two to three years of specialty training following dental school and limits his/her practice to treating children and teens. Pediatric dentists are primary and specialty oral care providers for infants and children through adolescence, including those with special health needs.
A check-up every six months is recommended in order to prevent cavities and other dental problems. However, your pediatric dentist can tell you when and how often your child should visit based on individual oral health concerns.
Primary or "baby" teeth are important for many reasons. Not only do they help children speak clearly and chew naturally, they also aid in forming a path that permanent teeth can follow when they are ready to erupt.
A toothbrush will remove plaque bacteria that can lead to decay. Any soft-bristled toothbrush with a small head, preferably one designed specifically for infants, should be used at least once a day at bedtime.
Fluoridated toothpaste should be introduced when a child is 2-3 years of age. Prior to that, parents should clean the child's teeth with water or non-fluoridated "tooth and gum cleanser" and a soft-bristled toothbrush. When toothpaste is used after reaching the age of 2-3 years, parents should supervise brushing and make sure the child uses no more than a pea-sized amount on the brush. Make sure children spit out and do not swallow excess toothpaste after brushing.