February is Children’s Dental Health and an important time to think about your kid’s teeth and how to care for them. Delta Dental is there for metro Detroit families and helps insures bright smiles for kids of all ages! 

It’s easy to take oral health for granted. We often think about physical health and wellness for our kids, with regularly scheduled visits to our pediatrician but it’s just as important to have regularly scheduled dentist visits too.

What kind of dental routine should my child have?

As early as infancy you can start to care for your children’s teeth. Parents can lightly massage children’s gums with a damp washcloth well before their first teeth appear. Once they have their first tooth brush lightly twice a day. By age 3 children can use a pea-sized amount of fluoridated toothpaste. When multiple teeth have come in, kids can even start to floss. Brushing at least twice a day for at least two minutes at a time and flossing establishes a foundation for good oral health that will help them throughout their life.

At what age should kids start visiting the dentist?

Once your child gets their first tooth you can start taking them to the dentist. Bring them to your appointment and ask your dentist to look at their tooth/teeth. This helps familiarize your child with the dentist office and sets expectations when they’re older. If they have older siblings let them watch them have their teeth cleaned too. Children can have their teeth cleaned by a dentist as young as age 2. The big determining factor is whether your child will sit and open their mouth – this is why early visits are helpful.

When do kids start losing their teeth?

All kids are different and when the permanent teeth are ready to come in they will. X-rays at the dentist can help you get an idea of when the baby teeth will start to fall out. In general, the front teeth fall out between ages 6 to 7, Incisors fall out between ages 7 and 8, First molars fall out between ages 9 and 11, Canines fall out between ages 9 and 12 and Second molars fall out between ages 10 and 12. By age 12 all of your child’s permanent teeth should be in.

What do I do if my child unintentionally loses a tooth?

Accidents happen and sometimes kids lose a tooth or two before the big teeth are ready to come in. Hopefully the lost tooth is the worst of the injury because for the most part it’s a cosmetic change that you’ll adjust to because nothing can damper your little’s smile – even if it’s a little toothless. A lost tooth can also lead to alignment, enamel and color issues for permanent teeth so make sure to talk to your dentist.

What can I prepare my child for a visit to the dentist?

Talking about the dentist and making the visit something exciting to look forward to can help set a positive mindset for kids. Encouraging your kids to ask questions is important too – body parts being loose and falling off isn’t normally a good thing so kids can be nervous if they don’t understand its normal. Adding books about dentist visit and the tooth fairy to your every day book pile can help make demystify the process.