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Thread: when should LO see a dentist?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2008

    Question when should LO see a dentist?

    DD is 12 months old. She also has plenty of teeth--12 teeth! My friend has a LO about 2 wks older than DD and her ped. told her to see the dentist at 1 yr. DD had her 12 mo. checkup today, and I asked my ped. about the dentist; she said it is not necessary until DD is 2 yr. old So I'm not sure; do I need to make an appt. with a pediatric dentist for DD or do I wait?

    Also, DD still nurses overnight, usually once overnight; sometimes she comfort nurses most of the night when a new tooth is coming through. Should I worry this will cause tooth decay?

    Mommy to Tessa Noelle 12/14/07

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2008

    Default Re: when should LO see a dentist?

    OOH! Good one. I was wondering this myself!
    I'm Hillary
    Wife to Gualberto
    Mom to Nolan
    Born at 32 weeks-3lbs/10oz
    Our precious early angel

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2006

    Default Re: when should LO see a dentist?

    Our pediatrician said to see a dentist for the first time around 3. I know that some dentists reccomend earlier - I talked to a pediatric dentist office who said to come in 1 year after the first tooth arrives. Of course, they may just be wanting to drum up business. We took M when she was 3 and plan on taking Z next summer, too. We don't do a pediatric dentist - just take them to the same family dentist DH & I go to.

    ETA: Here is an article about bfing and cavities: http://www.kellymom.com/bf/older-baby/tooth-decay.html My understanding is that nursing generally doesn't cause decay the same way sucking on a bottle does because the nipple is far back and the milk doesn't pool around the teeth.
    Last edited by @llli*FluffyN; December 16th, 2008 at 06:23 PM.
    Just one more fanatical cloth diaper convert...
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2008

    Default Re: when should LO see a dentist?

    My dentist said around 3, but our pediatrician said around 1, so that's what we did. He had a lot of teeth, too, and I was probably just being neurotic, but it made me feel better to take him.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Durham, NC

    Default Re: when should LO see a dentist?

    If your LO is on your dental insurance and there is a good pediatric dentist in your area... I would take LO sooner than later.

    I learned the hard way. I only went to the ped. dentist when ds was 13 mo. because ds had chipped a tooth at 10 mo. and at his 12 mo. checkup his ped. recommened we just go get it checked. Turns out he had 2 cavities behind his front teeth (and that's why the one tooth chipped)!!! We had not done a good job of brushing. Amazing that we made the mistake but we did. And we have learned. Just after he turned 2 he went under general anesthesia and had oral surgery to get his teeth repaired. After x-rays he actually had 4 cavities. Everything was fixed and he now has caps on the front 2 teeth. It was scary and stressful but we feel we made the best decision to try to fix what we had started.

    My lessons learned:

    1. BRUSH LO's teeth really well - it's not just an introduce the concept thing.
    2. Go to the dentist sooner so if there is any problem you can try to correct it while it's still small. Or, if you are doing a good job you know.

    R.e. night nursing - we did it. Still do on occasion and DS is two and a half. Breastmilk BY ITSELF does not cause cavities. BUT, if your lo has any other food residue left on their teeth and then that food residue tooth gets breastmilk all over it for an extended period of time, then the milk and the food form a matrix and then cavities can grow. For us, it was mashed banannas every night from 6 mo. onward + not brushing... If you are going to night nurse - go for it. Just get in there really well 2x per day at least and brush off all food residue as good as you can and you will be doing your LO a favor.

    Brush brush brush... the protests are way better than surgery, trust me.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2008

    Default Re: when should LO see a dentist?

    We brought DS to the dentist at about 13 months, at the time he had about 10 teeth. They didn't really do much, but I think that it's a really good idea to get them used to the idea of being in the dentist chair and having someone poke around in their mouth. I think usually they don't do anything really serious until about 3. I figure, if you have the insurance, might as well make an appointment.

    Exclusively pumped for Lance Oct 07
    Nursed until just before he turned 3 Levi Oct 09

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    "So I was welcomed by the consolations of human milk; but it was not my mother or my nurses who made any decision to fill their breasts, but you who through them gave me infant food, in accordance with your ordinance and the riches which are distributed deep in the natural order." -St Augustine

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2007

    Default Re: when should LO see a dentist?

    I asked our ped and dentist what they recommend, and they both said wait until age 3. Ped said they won't get a good exam before then because LO won't cooperate (and believe me, she won't!) and dentist agreed as well as told me that forcing it will make them scared of the dentist as adults.

    I really need to improve our brushing habits though, DD doesn't let me do it often and can't do a good job herself yet.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2008

    Default Re: when should LO see a dentist?

    I would start taking your lo to the dentist sometime between 1 and 2. Often the dentist can just look in their mouth and see any possible causes for concern without doing any actual cleaning or treatments.

    I would be very cautious when choosing a dentist for your lo. Some dentist do not allow parents in the room, some use a weighted papoose blanket to keep the lo still. Some are very patient and understand children's behavior. Just ask a lot of questions to make sure nothing will be done to your child that you disagree with.

    Lots of information is available here
    Proud mom of 2 boys, both weaned gradually and with love.

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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    COUGARTOWN Baby! From here on in!

    Default Re: when should LO see a dentist?

    If I could go back and redo this, I would go sooner. I went right before DJ turned three and he has 3 maybe four cavities and I didn't even give him any juice much less sugary treats like yogurt until after his 2nd b-day. I don't know if I would have taken him at one because he didn't really have enough language at one to really even understand commands like "open your mouth" but I would have definitely taken him right at or around two. When he really DID start have his language.

    Way too lazy for formula

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