By the time
your child is 6 months old, your doctor should assess the likelihood of your
child having future dental problems. This may include a dental exam of the
mother and her dental history, because the condition of her teeth can often
predict possible problems with her child's teeth. If the doctor thinks your
child will have dental problems, be sure your child sees a dentist by his or
her first birthday or 6 months after the first
primary teeth appear, whichever comes first. After your first visit, schedule
regular visits every 6 months or as your dentist recommends.
Experts recommend that your child's dental care start at 12 months of
age. Babies with dental problems caused by injury, disease, or a developmental
problem should be seen by a children's (pediatric) dentist right away. If these
dental problems are not limited to the surfaces of the teeth, your baby should
also be seen by a children's doctor (pediatrician)
or your family doctor.
U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF)
recommends that doctors prescribe
fluoride to preschool children older than 6 months of
age whose primary water source lacks enough fluoride.1
For more information, see the topics Basic
Dental Care, Mouth and Dental Injuries, and Mouth Problems, Noninjury.
See your dentist once or twice a year. Your dentist will examine your
teeth and gums for signs of tooth decay,
gum disease, and other health problems.
After reviewing all of the research, the USPSTF has not recommended for or against routine
screening of adults for
For more information, see the topics Basic Dental Care, Tooth Decay, and
U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (2004). Prevention of dental caries in preschool children. Available online: http://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/uspstf/uspsdnch.htm.
U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (2004). Screening for oral cancer. Available online: http://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/uspstf/uspsoral.htm
January 7, 2013
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
& Arden Christen, DDS, MSD, MA, FACD - Dentistry
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