Your child’s teeth matter! – starting at birthClick on a section of the interactive wheel to learn more about keeping teeth strong and healthy.
As the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and other children's groups say, tooth decay (also called early childhood caries, or ECC) is the most common life-long children's disease in the country. As a result, it is very vital that parents work with their child’s doctor to start good oral health habits from the first weeks of their baby's life. Click here to learn more about Flouride
Why is it important?When kids have a healthy mouth they:
- Can speak clearly
- Can eat healthy foods
- Feel good about themselves
- Are more likely not to miss school due to dental pain
- Are less likely to develop cavities in their adult teeth
Having a healthy mouth also means:
- Healthy growth and development
- Being able to focus and learn
- A pain-free mouth
Most of us hear dental care and think the dentist but as a parent, you will be working with your child’s doctor long before you see the dentist. From birth, you will visit their doctor for check-ups and during these visits, the doctor can look at your child’s mouth to make sure it is just as healthy as the rest of the body. The doctor can give you information on how to start taking care of your child’s mouth and teeth. Remember baby teeth are just as important as adult teeth. Baby teeth are just as important as adult teeth.
Did you know?
- Dental cavities is five times more common than asthma and seven times more common than allergies in children.
- More than 40 percent of children have tooth decay by the time they reach kindergarten.
- Children with cavities in their baby teeth are at much greater risk for cavities in their adult teeth.
Stop cavities before they start!
- When your child’s first tooth appears, talk to your doctor about the choices on hand.
- Your doctor can put fluoride varnish on the tooth and/or teeth to help stop cavities before they start.
- As a member of Health Plan of San Joaquin, there is no cost to you for this help.
- If needed, your doctor can give you fluoride drops that can be given to your child daily to help stop cavities before they start.
- Brush your child’s teeth with fluoride toothpaste twice a day for 2 minutes.
- If your child is younger than 3 years, brush with a smear of fluoride toothpaste.
- If your child is age 3 to 6 years, brush with a pea-size amount of fluoride toothpaste.
- Young children will want to brush their own teeth, but they need help until their hand skills are better. Brush children’s teeth or help children brush their teeth until they are about 7 or 8 years old.
When should my child visit the dentist?
- Take your child to the dentist for a health exam by her first birthday, and keep taking her.
- If your child has not gone to the dentist, take him.
- Ask your dentist what you can do to keep your mouth and your child’s mouth healthy.
- Make sure to go to the dentist as often as your dentist would like you to go.