Most parents wait too long to get their children’s smiles checked out by the dentist, according to a small but startling study in the journal Pediatrics. The research, done within the last year by St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, looked at 2,505 healthy kids and found that less than 1 percent of parents took their babies to their first dentist visit before they turned 1, as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Toddlers didn’t fare much better: Only 2 percent saw the dentist before they turned two.
Research done in the U.S. shows much of the same. In the U.S., a 2009 Delta Dental study revealed the average age of a first dental visit was 2.6 years old.