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Babies should see a dentist by age 1, says ECDN

The Early Childhood Dental Network (ECDN) of West Central Minnesota encourages parents with babies to make sure their children see a dentist by age 1.

Why so early?

There are three reasons, according to the ECDN, which provided the following information. First, it's important to find a dentist early on that both parents and children feel comfortable with, who is friendly, gentle and knowledgeable about young children and their development. Second, that first visit could find oral health issues before they become a problem.

Along with teeth development, a dentist will look at the alignment of the jaws, the health of gums and cheeks, and will help determine if there are any early warning signs. Third, regular visits from an early age will help children along to a lifetime of good oral hygiene and a healthy smile.

The ECDN is a nine-county, multi-disciplinary collaborative network that is designed to increase awareness and education to all children and their caregivers about the importance of oral health, and to increase access to dental care, specifically to the 0-5 population on Minnesota Health Care Programs or the uninsured. Learn more at

The ECDN is coordinated by West Central Initiative, a regional community foundation serving nine counties in west central Minnesota, including Douglas County.