6 Ways To Protect Your Child's Oral Health
(BlackDoctor.org) — Your children are precious. And so are their teeth. But many parents have a tough time judging just how much dental care their kids actually need. By kindergarten age, more than 40% of kids have tooth decay. Why is this the case for so many?
The largest misstep is not caring for a child’s teeth from the very first tooth. Proper dental care begins even before a baby’s first tooth appears — just because you can’t see the teeth doesn’t mean that they aren’t there. Teeth actually begin to form in the second trimester of pregnancy, and at birth a baby has 20 primary teeth, some of which are fully developed in the jaw.
So, when should you schedule your child’s first trip to the dentist? Should your 3-year-old be flossing? How do you know if your child needs braces? Following is a 6-step game plan to get you started with caring for your child’s oral health.
Start Oral Care Early
Your child should see a dentist by the time they are a year old, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry.Getting preventitive care early saves money in the long run. Costs for dental care are nearly 40% lower over a five-year period for children who gets dental care by age one compared to those who don’t go to the dentist until later.