A couple of weeks ago, I took my children to the dentist for their semiannual checkups. I decided to have my 1 year-old checked out at the same time, since I was going. I probably shouldn’t admit that I hadn’t taken my other kids that early. It seems that in the community where I live and practice, many of the dentists don’t see kids before the age of 2. Maybe, that’s just my excuse for missing the boat with my first two. Nevertheless, the visit was easy. It took all of 8 minutes total to polish my baby’s 12 teeth and hold her mouth open while she screamed and the dentist took a look. We walked away cavity free. I patted myself on the back for finally getting it right (third times a charm), and one more thing got checked off the never ending “to do” list.
You may be surprised to find out that your child is supposed see the dentist at 12 months of age or within 6 months of the first tooth eruption, whichever comes soonest. This is the official recommendation of the American Dental Association (ADA) and American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). After the initial visit, your child should have routine check-ups every 6 months. So, if you haven’t done it, it’s probably time to take your child to the dentist.