Dental Home

Sister and brother in park together

Starting at Age 1

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the American Dental Association (ADA), and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) all recommend establishing a "Dental Home" for your child by their first birthday.

The Dental Home is intended to provide a place for dental care other than the Emergency Room.

Pleasant First Visit

Children's first visit to their dental home should be pleasant and uneventful, solely to introduce the child and parents to the dental office. Emphasis is usually placed upon a developmental assessment of the child’s oral health because caries (tooth decay) and other developmental disturbances can be managed early. Fluoride varnish may be applied to counteract beginning decay on newly erupted teeth.

Five Things to Expect for Baby's First Dental Visit

Step 1
Clinical Examination
by Age 12 Months

  • Complete medical history
  • Knee-to-knee exam with guardian
  • Note clinical dental caries
  • Soft tissue irregularities
  • White-spot lesions, tongue anatomy
  • Enamel decalification, hypoplasia
  • Dietary staining

Step 2
Caries Risk Assessment

  • Bottle or breast fed at night on demand
  • Non-water in bedtime bottle
  • Decalcification/caries present
  • No oral home care
  • Sugary foods, snacks

Step 3
Diet Counseling for Infants

  • No juice or milk in bed
  • Sippy cups can encourage decay
  • Avoid sugary drinks and sodas
  • Encourage variety and a balanced diet
  • Low-sugar snacks
  • Fluorides – topical and systemic

Step 4
Oral Home Care for Infants

  • Brush or massage teeth and gums 2x daily
  • Use a small, soft toothbrush
  • Pea-sized amount of toothpaste, with Fluoride
  • Guidance on thumb sucking, pacifier
  • Response for home accidents, trauma

Step 5
Future Visit

  • Based on Risk Assessment
  • At age one year
  • Two years if delayed in development