We recommend that you bring your baby to see me by his or her first birthday; this is generally when the first tooth comes in. Early examination and preventive care will protect your child's smile now and in the future.
It is especially important that children have semi-annual checkups. The reasons are simple: Changes are occurring in the child's mouth remarkably faster than in the adult mouth; while new teeth are forming, the jawbone continues to grow.
Dental problems can begin early, even in infancy. Semi-annual checkups allow me to spot early conditions such as baby bottle tooth decay, teething irritations, gum disease, and prolonged thumb-sucking. Yes, decay can set in from using a bottle during naps or at night or when your baby nurses continuously from the breast. Children with healthy teeth chew food more easily and learn to speak more clearly.
Without regular dental checkups, periodontal disease may result if gingivitis is left untreated. It also can cause inflammation and destruction of tissues surrounding and supporting teeth, gums, bone, and fibers that hold the gums to the teeth.