Your child should have their first dental visit when they get their first tooth or by their first birthday. These early visits are to monitor eruption patterns and check for early childhood caries (cavities). They also serve to get the child used to visiting the dentist and to encourage good dental habits early in life.
Fluoride is often called nature’s cavity fighter and for good reason. Fluoride, a naturally-occurring mineral, helps prevent cavities in children and adults by making the outer surface of your teeth (enamel) more resistant to the acid attacks that cause tooth decay.1
Anatomical grooves, or pits and fissures on occlusal surfaces of permanent molars can trap food particles and promote the presence of bacterial biofilm, increasing the risk of developing caries. Dental sealants are systems that can be applied to the occlusal surfaces of teeth to penetrate anatomic surface pits and fissures and form a physical barrier on the tooth surface.1 Sealants are recommended for all fully erupted permanent molars. Occasionally, dependent on the risk of cavities, sealants may be recommended on additional teeth.
Many people are under the impression that baby teeth with cavities do not need to be fixed, because they will just fall out. While we may monitor some baby teeth in older children, we generally highly recommend restoring baby teeth that have cavities. The baby teeth serve an important purpose of maintaining the arch and the space for the adult teeth to come in correctly. Early loss of baby teeth can result in crooked or blocked out teeth that would require orthodontics and possibly even oral surgery to correct.