Media Release: Early prevention: A baby's first dental visit

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Dayton Children's Celebrates National Children's Dental Health Month

02-01-2009 (Dayton, OH) - "Take your baby to see a pediatric dentist shortly after the first tooth comes in, usually between the ages of 6 months and 1 year," says Gordon Womack, DDS, medical director of Dayton Pediatric Dentistry at The Children's Medical Center of Dayton. "The earlier the visit, the better the chance of learning how to prevent dental disease and help your child belong to the cavity-free generation."

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that a child's first dental visit occur shortly after the first tooth erupts and no later than the child's first birthday. But according to the 2005 National Survey of Children's Health (NSHC), only 10 percent of 1-year-olds and 23.8 percent of 2-year-olds had been taken for a preventive dental care visit in the past year.

At the first visit, the pediatric dentist provides information about proper sippy cup use and thumb-sucking as part of a complete program of preventive home care. The dentist also checks the child's teeth to make sure they're developing properly.

Dr. Womack encourages parents to use the following checklist for their baby's first dental visit:

  • I scheduled the first dental visit between when baby is 6 months to 1 year of age.
  • I chose a pediatric dental practice. I appreciate their special training; my child appreciates the toys and child-size furniture.
  • I selected an appointment time when my child is usually alert, not tired.
  • I was upbeat with my child about the visit, explaining that the dentist will help keep my child's smile bright and healthy.
  • The pediatric dental practice did not keep us waiting. (Or if they did, I was satisfied with their explanation.)
  • I was asked to provide a complete medical and dental history about my child.
  • The pediatric dentist gently but thoroughly examined my child's mouth. He or she observed oral and facial development and looked for any signs of potential problems.
  • I was informed about my child's tooth development, the causes and prevention of dental disease and appropriate diet and home dental care.
  • The pediatric dentist and members of the dental team answered my questions on such matters as diet, teething, thumb-sucking and pacifiers.
  • The dentist and support staff did everything possible to help my child feel comfortable during the visit.

"Every kid is different," says Dr. Womack. "But a pediatric dentist can work with you to identify potential dental problems before they happen and give you tips on how to make oral health a priority for your child."

Tooth decay is the single most common chronic childhood disease, yet 90 percent of all tooth decay is preventable. Through the Kohl's Cares for Kids campaign Dayton Children's and Kohl's Department stores have partnered to raise awareness during the National Dental Health Month of February.

Since 1999, Kohl's Department stores have donated more than $871,600 to Dayton's Children's. Kohl's commitment to Dayton Children's is made possible through Kohl's Cares for Kids. Net profits from the sale of special merchandise supports children's health and education.

About Kohl's Department Stores
Based in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, Kohl's is a family-focused, value-oriented specialty department store offering moderately priced, exclusive and national brand apparel, shoes, accessories, beauty and home products in an exciting shopping environment. Kohl's operates 957 stores in 47 states and will celebrate the opening of its 1,000th store in the fall. A company committed to the communities it serves, Kohl's has raised more than $102 million for children's initiatives nationwide through its Kohl's Cares for Kids philanthropic program. For a list of store locations and information, or for the added convenience of shopping online, visit

About Dayton Children's
Dayton Children's is the region's only medical facility dedicated to caring for infants, children and teens. Consistently recognized as one of the country's top pediatric hospitals, Dayton Children's provides medical treatment, advice and information for children and families from 20 Ohio counties and eastern Indiana. By demonstrating compliance with The Joint Commission's national quality standards, Dayton Children's has earned The Joint Commission's Gold Seal of Approval. For more children's health and safety information, visit our website at

For more information, contact:
Marketing Communications Department
Phone: 937-641-3666


About Dayton Children's

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