A lot of parents simply aren't sure when to start taking their young child to the dentist. Many believe baby teeth don't require the same level of care permanent teeth do; some even wait until the child is in school to take them to a dentist. However, once a child is showing even part of a tooth, oral health issues are possible. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends waiting no longer than age one to take a child to a dentist. Here are five potential dental issues small children can face:

1. Effects From Thumb Sucking

Children who suck their thumbs and use a pacifier excessively can be prone to crooked teeth, jaw issues, misaligned bite and even speech impediments. The dentist can assess oral health early on and determine the severity of their sucking habit effects. Advice about how to best curb these habits can also be provided.

2. Tooth Decay And Cavities

Children can get cavities just as adults do, and if baby teeth are showing, tooth decay is possible. Despite being temporary, these "baby" (also called primary) teeth should not be considered optional for dental care. These teeth effectively form the foundation for permanent teeth later on, so issues with primary teeth can cause problems with bite, jaw and speech later in life. If a cavity or the beginnings of tooth decay are located, a dentist can take corrective measures.

3. Teething

Teething is normal for young children, but a dentist's expertise can help confirm that all teeth are growing into place properly. The dentist can also offer valuable information to help parents assist their child in getting through this very unpleasant and often painful period in their oral and general development.

4. Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

A serious condition called "baby bottle tooth decay" can occur when a toddler consumes lots of bottled beverages with high sugar content. A dentist can detect the warning signs of this condition and provide helpful advice to assist you and your child to cultivate their positive dental habits early on in life.

5. Lack of Information

Simply not having the facts is enough to jeopardize a child's oral health. Tips, preventative treatment and education from a dentist can go a long way in avoiding tooth and mouth issues that could have long-term effects.  

Why take chances with your child's oral health? Taking them to a dentist by the age of one can help to create a solid foundation for a healthy smile that lasts a lifetime.  

For more information, contact a dental expert like Bracker Susan.