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The American Dental Association recommends that all children first see the dentist sometime after their first tooth appears, but no later than their first birthday. This allows the dentist to evaluate the child for signs of proper growth and development and make sure that their baby teeth are in good condition.

Baby teeth are vital because they act as placeholders for the adult teeth and help maintain the proper amount of space needed for our adult teeth to move into place. They also help with the development of speech and chewing.

We also want the opportunity to look beyond just the child’s teeth. Lots of dentistry research concerns airway issues in children and how that can impact their growth and development. While a dentist may not necessarily be the doctor that treats these possible issues, we can often identify them and discuss treatment options with parents.

If you have any concerns about your child’s behavior, sleeping, or eating, please let your dentist know! Sometimes restricted movement of the tongue, often referred to as a “tongue-tie,” can result in difficulties with feeding and speech. These tongue-ties in infants can also cause difficulty with breastfeeding. Similarly, a restricted airway can lead to difficulty sleeping and even behavioral problems. If your child has any of these issues, it is worth mentioning them to your dentist.

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