Your Child's Age One Dental Visit

The Age One Dental Visit is perhaps the most important appointment; it can set the tone for a lifetime of good oral health, which is the reason why it is endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry.

Statistics suggest that the number of children getting cavities is on the rise, particularly among young children. According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry: “Tooth decay is the single most common chronic childhood disease-5 times more common than asthma, 4 times more common than early childhood obesity, and 20 times more common than diabetes.” The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports 40% of children have tooth decay in baby teeth before entering kindergarten. Tooth decay, early childhood caries, can begin as early as the teeth begin to emerge and can progress very quickly. Although your child will lose these first teeth (baby teeth), they do serve an important function while they are present. Baby teeth help your child learn how to chew, assist when learning correct speech, hold space in the mouth for the adult teeth, and give your child a beautiful smile.

Smiling Baby with Pink Headband

There are significant advantages to starting dental visits early and establishing a dental home since many dental problems are avoidable. Early visits allow children to become accustomed to the atmosphere of the dental office and establish good habits early. Research has shown that children who visit the dentist at a young age have fewer cavities, less premature tooth loss, reduced future health care costs, and a more positive experience at the dentist throughout their childhood!

This first visit will become a foundation to help build a healthy, trusting relationship between your child, the dental team, and to familiarize you as parents with the anticipated dental development and needs of your child. To prevent early childhood cavities, parents first have to find out their child’s risk of developing cavities, and then learn how to manage diet, hygiene, and fluoride to prevent problems before they start. At the age 1 dental visit, the dentist can help evaluate your child’s dental health and get them off to a good start, as well as it is a great opportunity for parents to have concerns answered that they may not know the answers to, such as:

  • Brushing techniques with an age-appropriate toothbrush
  • Education about fluoride, including toothpaste
  • Discussion of how to avoid baby bottle decay
  • Pacifier use, bottle use, and thumb sucking
  • Teething and developmental milestones
  • Discussion of how to avoid oral and facial injuries
  • Your family’s food habits and foods to include and avoid for healthier teeth

Here at Ottawa Children’s Dentistry, we are pediatric dental specialists (the only Pediatric Dentists in the Illinois Valley). With two years of intensive training after becoming dentists, a Pediatric Dentist is a specialist devoted to dental care for young people from infancy, on, with an emphasis on child psychology, prevention, growth and development, and special health care needs. Pediatric dentists are the pediatricians of dentistry. Just like you take your child to a pediatrician every year for a well-child visit, it’s important to also bring your child to a dentist who is trained in children’s dentistry.

We too want to make certain your baby enjoys a healthy mouth and a beautiful smile. As always, we are here to answer your questions, so please feel free to call our office at 815-434-6447 to schedule your first “well-baby” dental appointment. Your child’s first dental visit is a momentous occasion, and we look forward to sharing it with you and helping to make your baby part of the cavity-free generation!

Tips For a Successful Visit

Even if your child is more than 1 year old, there are several things that you can do to help make your visit successful. Check out our first visit tips to see advice that we have found can help both you and your child have a successful first dental visit.