October 1, 2009
by Dental Practice Management
OAK BROOK, IL–Most American children don’t see their family dentist until they are well over two years old, far later than is recommended by both dental and medical professionals. That’s one of the key findings from a survey of American children’s oral health, conducted on behalf of Delta Dental Plans Association.
The survey of primary caregivers revealed that, for those children who had seen a dentist — and 34 percent had not — the average age at the initial visit was 2.6 years. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends that a child go to the dentist by age 1 or within six months after the first tooth erupts.
“Many Americans don’t understand how important their children’s baby teeth are to lifelong oral health,” said Jed J. Jacobson, DDS, MS, MPH, chief science officer and senior V.P. at Delta Dental. “There’s a continuing need for more education to teach practices that will ensure lifelong oral health. And, since people overwhelmingly prefer the dentist and dental hygienist as their primary oral health information sources, dental benefits that encourage visits to the dentist are crucial.”