Although most children have all their baby teeth by age 21/2, the first dental visit should be planned within six months of the eruption of the first tooth or one year of age at the latest.
From the age of 3, the best program for your child is twice-yearly dental inspections. Cavities are best repaired in their early stages when damage is minimal. Decay spreads more rapidly when it involves dentin, and if it is allowed to progress, may involve the nerve. As a result, your child may experience considerable pain and an abscess may develop, resulting in extraction of the tooth.
Your dentist may also suggest that two x-rays (called bitewing x-rays) be taken of the molar teeth if these teeth are tight together. These are common sites for decay to start.
At these check-up appointments, your child's teeth will be cleaned and a topical fluoride preparation applied. These procedures will help your child remain cavity-free. Regular preventive dental care by your dentist and home supervision of diets and oral hygiene procedures ensure that many children and adults experience no dental decay in their lifetimes.