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How often do you take your toddler's for dental checkups? CONFUSED!

I took her to the dentist for the first time at 1 year old. They wanted to see her every 6 months for check ups. At the last visit he insisted we bring her in every 3 months now.

Her teeth are all very healthy. She does not eat sugar (she can't stand sweets) and we brush her teeth once a day. So this is not making any sense to me. In addition, the nearest dentist is 180 miles round trip. She HATES the exams too.

Does this seem excessive to you?


Asked by Anonymous at 11:54 AM on Apr. 6, 2009 in Relationships

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Answers (10)
  • I'm a dental hygienist in a community health center. We take Medicaid. Is your daughter on Medicaid? With Medicaid the office gets money for each visit the child has. I've seen many offices busted for Medicaid fraud because they do unethical things like this.
    If we see a toddler that has healthy teeth, I will bring them in to polish their teeth and help them become comfortable with dental visits. Depending on what I see and the child, I sometimes bring them back in 6 months. I have many I only see once a year.
    Frequent dental visits for small children with healthy teeth are not necessary.

    Answer by PrttyMstng at 1:48 PM on Apr. 6, 2009

  • It seems excessive to me. I have noticed more and more dentists trying to get people to come in 3 or 4 times a year. The ADA still says twice a year. Unless they have some condition they are monitoring (which you would know about), then I can't think of any reason for so many visits except money.

    Don't you have any dentists closer than 90 miles away? You don't have to take her to a kid's dentist, any family dentist will do.

    Answer by kaycee14 at 11:59 AM on Apr. 6, 2009

  • If there's no dental problems I think every 6 months is enough. That's all most insurance companies cover most the time anyway.

    Answer by mizsaxton at 12:01 PM on Apr. 6, 2009

  • How is there NO dentist closer then 90 miles to you? Anyways...our dentist says they don't need to be seen for the first time till they are three unless you notice an issue.


    Answer by Navymama at 12:02 PM on Apr. 6, 2009

  • Thanks, ladies. I meant to post this under the toddler section, sorry. I live in West Texas and yes, the closest dentist, grocery story, restaurant, etc is 90 miles away.

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:09 PM on Apr. 6, 2009

  • Navymama, some dentists do believe that but I can say from experience, that's not true. They need to be seen at about a year old for the first time. There are problems that can come up with teeth that we do not see but if they are fixed right away, it won't cause problems. When I was little, my teeth formed without enamel. My mother made a dentist appointment for me when I was 12 months and the dentist said no, it wasn't needed yet. So I went back at 2 and by then it was too late. The lack of enamel was something I was born with but they could have fixed it if they had found it right away. Instead, I had to have caps on my about half of my baby teeth and it was HUMILIATING for me as a child. I was so happy when they fell out. To the OP- yes, 3 months is a little extreme unless there is a problem. Just make the appointments like you want.


    Answer by DDry at 12:11 PM on Apr. 6, 2009

  • Start at 3 years old - then 2 times per year for check ups and cleaning unless there is a problem.

    Answer by bristle3kids at 12:12 PM on Apr. 6, 2009

  • OP - Do you live in Denver City? Just curious. I lived out there when I was younger and we had to drive 2 hours just to go to the grocery store. It was ridiculous! There was NOTHING in this little town.

    Answer by DDry at 12:12 PM on Apr. 6, 2009

  • I would ask them flat out why they felt like it needed to be so often, if there's a problem then they need to tell you, if not they don't need to have you come in so often.

    Answer by heratyc at 12:13 PM on Apr. 6, 2009

  • Im no dentist, but every 6 months is plenty. I have never taken either of my kids more than that. And they both have great teeth.

    Answer by angelkatcutie83 at 4:27 PM on Apr. 6, 2009

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