Although this may seem surprisingly early, the incidence of infant and toddler tooth decay has been rising in recent years. Tooth decay and early cavities can be exceptionally painful if they are not attended to immediately, and can also set the scene for poor oral health in later childhood. We suggest you schedule your child's first visit at the age of 3 unless you see a problem then a visit should be made as soon as possible.
What potential dental problems can babies experience?
A child is at risk for tooth decay as soon as the first tooth emerges. During the first visit, the dentist will help parents implement a preventative strategy to protect the teeth from harm, and also demonstrate how toddler teeth should be brushed and flossed.
In particular, infants who drink breast milk, juice, baby formula, soda, or sweetened water from a baby bottle or sippy cup are at high-risk for early childhood caries (cavities). To counteract this threat, the pediatric dentist discourages parents from filling cups with sugary fluids, dipping pacifiers in honey, and transmitting oral bacteria to the child via shared spoons and/or cleaning pacifiers in their own mouths.