By Michelle Caceres
Young children celebrate many milestones before their first birthday, but according to Dr. Jorge Torres at Pediatric Dentistry of Brandon, one of the most important is establishing a good oral health routine.
According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, a child should first visit the dentist by age one or within six months after the first tooth erupts.
“Parents are surprised to learn that infants can develop tooth decay and cavities soon after their teeth first appear,” Torres said. “This is caused by extensive exposure to liquids containing sugars like milk, formula and fruit juice.”
It’s not uncommon for Torres and the other dentists at the practice to see young children with teeth so ripe with decay that extensive treatments (cavities, crowns, nerve treatments, extractions) are required.
“Catching decay early helps prevent the need for more extensive treatments,” he said.
Visiting a pediatric dentist for the first time is an educational experience for parents and a chance for both dentist and child to establish the beginnings of a positive long-term dental relationship. The A.A.P.D. encourages establishing a “dental home” by the age of one. By following up with bi-annual check-up visits, children’s oral growth is monitored and parents become educated on proper oral care and habits for their child.
Ruskin resident Jaime D’Errico started on her son’s path to oral health when he was 10 months old. When she was a child she didn’t visit the dentist as often as she should and wanted a different experience for her child.
“Even though he only had two teeth I felt like it was important for him to go,” she said. “If you have teeth you should maintain them.”
D’Errico, whose son is now 10, said the dentists at Pediatric Dentistry of Brandon are caring, gentle kind and highly recommends the office to anyone in search of a pediatric dentist.
Pediatric Dentistry of Brandon, located at 517 Corner Dr., is open Monday – Thursday from 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Friday 8:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.
“I’m proud of our insurance department who take the time to make parents aware what their cost will be before they come in,” said practice manager Kerry Torres. “ Visit www.pedodentbrandon.com or call 413-4567.