INFANT ORAL HEALTH CARE
Infant oral health care begins ideally with prenatal oral health counseling for parents, a service that should be provided by knowledgeable health care providers such as obstetricians, family physicians, pediatricians and nurse practitioners, as well as dental providers. Actual infant oral health care visits focusing on relevant history taking, clinical examination, risk assessment, counseling, anticipatory guidance and necessary follow-up interventions should begin early, ideally before dental diseases are established. This early involvement is viewed as the foundation on which a lifetime of positive oral health and dental care experiences can be built, thus minimizing costs associated with treatment of dental diseases.
FIRST DENTAL VISIT
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends that children be seen by a dentist following the eruption of the first tooth, but not later than 12 months of age. In contrast, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that every child should begin to receive oral health risk assessments by 6 months of age from a pediatrician or a qualified pediatric health care professional, and that infants identified as having significant risk of caries or being in a high-risk group should be entered into an aggressive anticipatory guidance and intervention program provided by a dentist between 6 and 12 months of age.
My next blog will focus on the services that a dentist offers. Look out for that next month.