Many parents may wonder at what age they should take their baby or child to their first dentist appointment. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends that the first check-up take place by a child’s first birthday or within six months that the first tooth grows in, whichever is sooner. Naturally, parents may also wonder how they will pay for their child’s dental care.
With the rising cost of health and dental insurance, it’s no surprise that more and more parents are having to or choosing to decline dental coverage. Preventive dental care, however, is an important factor to your child’s overall health and wellness. As children get older, they are likely to suffer more long-term consequences caused by not having dental care. Tooth decay and missing or crowded permanent teeth are just some of those effects.
Thankfully, for parents in Florida there is help. Florida KidCare is the state of Florida’s high-quality, low-cost health and dental insurance program. The program covers children from birth through age 18 and includes dental, in addition to health coverage. Families may be eligible even if one or both parents are working. Most families pay nothing at all, and many pay as little as $15 or $20 a month.
Having dental insurance is one way to offset your out-of-pocket costs for the dental care needed to treat cavities and save your family money. Below I share additional ways to care for your child’s teeth.
Four Ways to Care for Your Child’s Teeth at an Early Age
- Sign-up for dental insurance. According to a 2016 National Association of Dental Plans (NADP) report, “Americans with dental benefits are more likely to go to the dentist, take their children to the dentist, receive restorative care and experience greater overall health.” Sign-up for dental insurance and save yourself unnecessary out-of-pocket expenses and the stress if a dental related accident or emergency occurs.
- Seek preventive care. Some children get cavities as early as two years-old. In addition to proper brushing and care at home, children should have their teeth examined every six months as part of routine preventative care. Many of the treatments and exams that adults undergo at the dentist are also available to children. Those include cleanings, X-rays, dental sealants, and more.
- Take special care of baby teeth. Baby teeth are important as your child learns to chew, try new foods, and eventually form words. Although baby teeth will eventually fall out, caring for baby teeth early is a part of your child’s overall health and wellness. Baby teeth can get cavities and if not treated, can result in unnecessary pain to your child.
- Teach your children how to care for their teeth. Baby teeth fall-out and are replaced with permanent teeth as early as five-years old for some children. Showing your children how to brush, floss, and take proper care of their teeth is an important life skill that should be developed early. Show your children the proper way to brush, how often and be sure to check up on them often.
Thank you to Florida KidCare for sponsoring today’s post. All opinions are my own