Why an Infant Dental Examination?


The American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry both recommend that children visit the dentist for the first time by their first birthday. This recommendation is because a one-year old can develop a serious form of tooth decay called Early Childhood Caries (ECC). One of the purposes of the infant examination is to evaluate for early signs of ECC. Another purpose is to provide the parent’s with information on how to avoid this disease.

ECC is a disease that begins with biofilm formation on the baby’s teeth (below left). The germs in the biofilm make acid that cause "white line lesions".  Most times, these lesions occur on the tooth near the gums (below center). Once the white line lesions develop, the decay progresses very rapidly (below right). Children can develop serious infections due to ECC (right).