When Should Kids Have Their First Visit to the Dentist?
This article is based on my professional pediatric dental experiences over the last forty years, like my previous writings. My goal is to offer you an E.A., EDUCATIONAL ADVANTAGE. I hope you enjoy this latest article
All the major medical and dental associations (American Medical Association, American Dental Association, Academy of Pediatrics, Academy of Pediatric Dentistry) recommend that a child should make their first visit to the dentist at one
year of age. This advice is a proper recommendation and a necessity to provide your child the best possible experience and have a chance to have minimal tooth decay
throughout their childhood. There are several reasons why most parents do not get the correct information regarding the one year of age dental visit.
SECTION I: The Lack of Accurate Information
1.) Research shows that 90% of all dentists practice general dentistry with adult specialties. Thus they are not trained to treat children four years and younger. With that said, it is not their fault. The dental school curriculum only requires them to treat children for six weeks in a controlled children's clinic, and their patients are usually five years of age or older.
2.) Studies reveal that only 50% of all pediatricians recommend a first dental visit at one year of age, even though they are taught the proper recommendation in medical school. Rightfully so, physicians are focused on the medical health of
their patients and rarely look at the child's teeth. They go past the teeth and look at the throat and tonsils. They infrequently ask if the child is bottle or breastfed and the method of each. Breast or bottle feeding in the middle of the night usually
causes significant tooth decay. This knowledge is critical.
3.) Many mothers ask their mothers when they should have the child's first dental visit. The grandmother's response is usually at three years of age because that is what she did. Twenty-five years ago, the recommended first Dental visit WAS 3 years of age. Twenty years ago, the recommendation CHANGED to one year of age. This occurred because of the high sugar content of many baby foods, juices, and formula that have led to the increase of tooth decay in very young children.
4.) Many mothers go to social media and the internet for their information. In other words, they are getting information from their peers who received the same advice from their parents. THE WRONG ADVICE.
5.) Public service announcements (minimal) will tell you to take your child to a dentist at one year of age. The MOST ACCURATE ADVICE is to go to a PEDIATRIC DENTIST at one year of age
There you have it. Misinformation is a huge factor in why tooth decay is the #1 childhood disease in America, and trust me, it is getting worse by the year. I want to suggest that you share this information with your family and friends; it is one way to begin the process of tooth decay remediation.
SECTION II. The Benefits of the One-Year Initial Visit
There are multiple reasons and benefits for your child's initial visit to a pediatric dentist at one year old. All will benefit the child, but more importantly, the PARENT will get the information they need to care for their child correctly.
1.) The child will be examined to evaluate average growth and development, allow for detection of congenital disabilities or problems, and answer any questions or concerns that you, the parent, might have.
2.) The most CRITICAL PART OF THE APPOINTMENT will be to interview the parent and educate them in proper dental health practices at home daily. We will cover the topics of breastfeeding, baby bottle feeding, pacifier usage,
toothbrushing, diet counseling, and food choices. The parent's daily habits at home are the most crucial factor in reducing their child's risk of tooth decay.
3.) We will inquire about the parent's dental history and emphasize that good parental oral health directly affects the child's oral health and vice versa.
4.) Lastly, we will explain why the youngest child in the family will usually have the most tooth decay because they get the most sugar and transfer of tooth decay-causing bacteria from parents and siblings.
Tooth decay is a disease of the family because bacteria are passed from family members to a family member by touching. They were the driving force of creating Dr. Branam's Xylitol Product formulation regarding the reasons outlined above.
The toothpaste and tooth-gels will address the factors that cause tooth decay and dental disease. Most dentists don't know of the benefits of Xylitol because they have not taken the time to educate themselves. Regarding education, these same
dentists have been uneducated as to the benefits of that one-year suggested visit.
I sincerely believe in the one-year dental visit; however, the daily preventive dental practices at home are of paramount importance. If your goal is to have minimal or no tooth decay in your family, I suggest the entire family use Dr. Branam's Xylitol Products. Consistent use at bedtime will produce results that have been verified by the University of Toledo Medical Center clinical trial. The results of the clinical trial can be viewed at the www.drbranamsxylitol.com site.
As a final note, I recommend that you do NOT RINSE YOUR MOUTH after brushing. These fluoride-free products continue to work best when left in the mouth. They are safe and effective for people of all ages, from toddlers to grandparents.
Yours for better dental health for the entire family.
Dr. Steve Branam