I’ve recently had a number of patients and friends asking me the question “When do we first bring our child in to see you?” The answer is surprising to a lot of parents – for many years, the stock answer was 3 years old. The problem with that is a kid can already be in a lot of trouble with lots of cavities by the time 3 years comes around. However, the Canadian Dental Association and Canadian Academy of Pediatric Dentistry both recommend much earlier visits – at least 6 months after the first tooth comes in, or by one year old, whichever is sooner.
The goal of early visits is to prevent problems before they begin. Children’s teeth are just as susceptible to cavities as the teeth of an adult – and, to make matters worse, the enamel layer in children’s teeth is very thin. Once a cavity breaks through the outer enamel layer of the tooth, it can spread very rapidly, leading to pain, infection, and damage to the developing adult teeth. Due to this very thin enamel, it is very important that we see children every 6 months to make sure that everything is healthy and developing normally.
Bringing your children in at an early age is important because it helps me determine if the cleaning you are doing at home is working, I can spot problems immediately and fix them while they are small, can help keep the healthy development of the mouth on track, and it helps to prevent dental anxiety by making visits to the dentist easy and fun.
When your infant or toddler comes in to see me, I perform a quick and easy examination and we’ll chat about prevention strategies. I love working with children, and would be more than happy to get to know you and your family. Contact us (604-683-5530) and make sure to ask for Dr. Dice for an appointment.
Together, let’s help keep the teeth of the children of Vancouver healthy!