From the second you leave the hospital, every “first” is a breakthrough for baby and a memory for mommy. Whether it’s first laughs, steps or words—every moment matters. Here’s how to keep first smiles on par with first steps:
Baby’s First 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 of your benefit plans. This includes health, dental and any other coverage you currently have. Every insurance company differs, but most require you to contact them within 30 days following your delivery.
Baby’s First Brush
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 and makes the toothbrush transition easier.
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 water. He won’t use fluoridated toothpaste until age 2-3. It’s almost time for his first dental appointment. In the meantime, your pediatrician will preview pearly whites at well-baby visits.
Baby’s First Dentist
Schedule a dentist appointment within 6 months of her first tooth, but no later than 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 her 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 how to care for your children’s teeth throughout their lifetime.