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Risk Groups
The AAP policy statement states that “even the most judiciously designed and implemented caries risk assessment tool can fail to identify all infants at risk for early dental caries.” The policy then provides a list of risk factors that should prompt automatic referral to a dentist by 12 months of age.

The following risk groups are listed in the AAP policy statement:
Children with special health care needs
Children of mothers with a high caries rate
Children with demonstrable caries, plaque, demineralization, and/or staining
Children who sleep with a bottle or sippy cup or breastfeed throughout the night
Children in families of low socioeconomic status
Later-order offspring

Any child determined to be at high risk for dental caries based on these risk groups, a formal risk assessment, or physical exam findings should be prioritized for referral to a dental home.

According to the AAP policy statement, “Patients who have been determined to be at risk of development of dental caries or who fall into recognized risk groups should be directed to establish a dental home
6 months after the first tooth erupts or by 1 year of age (whichever
comes first)."
According to AAP policy, high-risk patients should be directed to establish a dental home by 12 months of age.
Children who sleep with a bottle or breastfeed during the night are considered high risk for early childhood caries.
A list of high-risk groups is provided in the AAP policy statement.

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