Dentist by 1
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that a child visit the dentist within six months of getting the first tooth – and no later than the first birthday. Despite this recommendation, children in Illinois don’t see their family dentist on average until they are 3 years old. To educate caregivers about the importance of starting oral health habits early and visiting the dentist by age 1, the Foundation launched the “Dentist By 1” program. As part of the program, parents can take the pledge to take their child to the dentist by age 1. In exchange, they will receive an oral health kit for their child, and the Foundation will donate an oral health kit in their honor to a child in need.
The “Dentist by 1” program also includes training for oral health professionals to help them feel more comfortable treating young patients. In addition, the “Dentist by 1” program includes a one-day community service event where dental professionals provide free exams, cleanings and sealants to young children ages 5 and under. Families who attend the event are provided with oral health education materials and receive referrals for additional care, if needed. Click here to view highlights from the 2017 free dental care event.