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Health Tip: Get Thy Baby to a Dentist

Infants need checkups, too

(HealthDayNews) -- Don't assume that because your child still has his baby teeth that he doesn't need to see a dentist, the American Dental Association advises.

Primary (baby) teeth begin to appear when a baby is between 6 months and a year old. They help children chew and speak, and also hold space in the jaw for developing permanent teeth.

The ADA recommends that a dentist examine a child within six months of the emergence of the first tooth -- no later than his first birthday.

A early visit gives the dentist a chance to check for tooth decay, to show parents how to clean the child's teeth, and to evaluate any bad habits, including thumb-sucking.

Consumer News