Timeline for Utilizing Your Baby’s Dental Benefits
Their first steps, first words, first smile—every moment matters. Here’s how to keep your child’s mouth healthy during his or her first year:
First Things First: Add baby to benefits.
Just like their fingers, toes, and face, baby teeth begin forming before birth. Add your little one to all your benefit plans. This includes health, dental, and any other coverage you currently have. Every insurance company differs, but most require you contact them within 30 days following your delivery. This notification period is important because it helps ensure your new baby has benefits as early as their day of birth.
1 Month: Clean gums with gauze.
While your tot is temporarily without teeth, get a head start on removing bacteria. Wrap gauze tightly around your index finger and rub gently over the gums. It gets your baby used to the habit, making the toothbrush transition easier down the line.
6 Months: Brush emerging teeth.
Once your bundle of joy hits half a year, graduate from gauze. According to the American Dental Association, parents and caregivers should begin brushing children’s teeth as soon as they begin to come into the mouth by using fluoride toothpaste in an amount no more than a smear or the size of a grain of rice. At 6 months, it’s almost time for baby’s first dental appointment. In the meantime, your medical doctor will preview pearly whites at well-baby visits.
1 Year: Use baby’s dental benefits.
Schedule a dentist appointment within 6 months of baby’s first tooth, but no later than his or her first birthday. This recommendation by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry sets the stage for successful future visits. The dentist will check your baby’s teeth, gums, jaw, and bite. They may also clean the teeth, apply a fluoride preparation, and suggest a dental routine.
From baby teeth to braces and every smile in between—little ones grow up fast. Learn about how to care for your children’s teeth throughout their lifetime.
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