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Dental Visits

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommend that children be seen by a dentist within 6 months of eruption of the first tooth or 12 months of age, whichever comes first. (Refer to the AAP policy statement "Oral Health Risk Assessment Timing and Establishment of the Dental Home" for more information.)

The AAP recognizes that this ideal may be impractical in communities with limited pediatric dental resources, so recommends all children at risk for caries be triaged for early establishment of a dental home by age 1.

The following risk factors should prompt referral to a dentist:

 
Children with special health care needs
 
Children of mothers with high caries rate
 
Children with demonstrable caries, plaque, demineralization, or staining
 
Children who continue nocturnal feeding (especially bottle feeding) past the time of tooth eruption.
 
Children in families of low socioeconomic status
 
Later-order offspring
 
 
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children with risk factors for caries be seen by a dentist within 6 months of eruption of the first tooth or 12 months of age, whichever comes first.
 
Risk factors such as special health care needs and sleeping with a bottle warrant referral to a dentist.
 
It is recommended that, whenever possible, all children be referred to a dentist by 12 months
of age.
 
It is important to create relationships with local dentists to allow for “emergent” referrals.
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