Their first steps, words—even their first potty—every moment matters. Here’s how to keep first smiles on par with first steps:
FIRST AND FOREMOST: Add baby to benefits.
Just like their fingers, toes and face, baby teeth begin forming before birth. So get down to the baby business—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.
1 MONTH: Clean gums with gauze.
While your tot is temporarily without teeth, get a head start on banishing 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. Teeth begin to emerge at this time, so use an ADA-approved baby brush and a smear of fluoridated toothpaste until age 3. It’s almost time for baby’s first appointment. In the meantime, your doctor will preview pearly whites at well-baby visits.
1 YEAR: Utilize baby’s benefits
Schedule a dentist appointment within 6 months of baby’s first tooth, but no later than baby’s 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 baby’s teeth, apply a fluoride preparation, and suggest a dental routine.
From baby teeth to braces and every smile in between— keiki grow up so fast!