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Not too young for dental care
Updated: 10/15/2009 3:00:33 PM

Not too young for dental care Over 25 percent of American children have at least one cavity by the time they are four, and yet many parents are surprised to hear that kids should have their first dental checkup before their first birthday.

Dr Darryl Engel is a dentist who lives in New Jersey. He understands why parents are sometimes surprised to learn that the American Academy of Pediatrics claims kids who are at high risk of early childhood cavities should visit the dentist by age 1. Children that age generally have very few teeth. Yet the moment a tooth emerges it becomes vulnerable to decay, and some children even develop cavities by age 2.

Visiting the dentist with young children can be very informative for parents. Dentist appointments offer an opportunity to discuss how to care for an infant's mouth, the implications of oral habits such as thumb-sucking, the connection between diet and oral health, teething and other developmental milestones.

Some dentists like Dr Engel offer tours of their practices to acquaint parents and infant patients with going for a kid's dental checkup for the first time.

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