Home > Health Library > Dental Checkups for Children and Adults
By the time
your child is 6 months old, your doctor should assess the likelihood of your
child having future dental problems. This may include a dental exam of the
mother and her dental history, because the condition of her teeth can often
predict possible problems with her child's teeth. If the doctor thinks your
child will have dental problems, be sure your child sees a dentist by his or
her first birthday or 6 months after the first
primary teeth appear, whichever comes first. After your first visit, schedule
regular visits every 6 months or as your dentist recommends.
Experts recommend that your child's visits to a dentist start within 6 months after the first teeth appear or at 12 months of age, whichever comes first. Babies with dental problems caused by injury, disease, or a developmental
problem should be seen by a children's (pediatric) dentist right away. If these
dental problems are not limited to the surfaces of the teeth, your baby should
also be seen by a children's doctor (pediatrician)
or your family doctor.
U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF)
recommends that your child's doctor:footnote 1
See your dentist once or twice a year. Your dentist will examine your
teeth and gums for signs of tooth decay,
gum disease, and other health problems.
After reviewing all of the research, the USPSTF has not recommended for or against routine
screening of adults for
oral cancer.footnote 2
For more information, see the topics Basic Dental Care, Tooth Decay, and
U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (2014). Prevention of dental caries in children from birth through age 5 years: Recommendation statement. http://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/uspstf12/dentalprek/dentchfinalrs.htm. Accessed May 15, 2014.
U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (2004). Screening for oral cancer. Available online: http://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/uspstf/uspsoral.htm.
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal MedicineAdam Husney, MD - Family MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerArden Christen, DDS, MSD, MA, FACD - Dentistry
Current as ofFebruary 17, 2015
Current as of:
February 17, 2015
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Arden Christen, DDS, MSD, MA, FACD - Dentistry
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