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Can You Handle the Tooth?

Tell us the tooth -- are you doing everything you need to be doing to ensure proper dental health for your children? With busy schedules, it's easy to become lax when it comes to your child's chompers. But remember they only have one set of teeth -- well, two if you count those baby teeth. {relatedarticles}Nonetheless, establishing proper dental hygiene habits at an early age is essential. According to the American Dental Association, a child should have her first dental appointment by the age of one. However, the American Academy of Pediatrics maintains that children don't need to see a dentist until the age of 3 unless there are specific issues with thumb sucking, stains on teeth or problems getting off bottles or sippy cups.
Although your baby may be short on teeth, the dentist can school you on how to properly care for baby's teeth. By the age of 2, your child should be using toothpaste when brushing. She should also be brushing teeth twice a day, as well as doing routine flossing. Of course, an adult should always be present. {relatedarticles}Use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste on the toothbrush and always make sure that your child isn't swallowing the toothpaste. At the age of 2 1/2 the dentist usually begins putting fluoride on your child's teeth to protect them from cavities, oral diseases and other dental issues. Children should visit the dentist a minimum of once a year. Depending on what the dentist recommends, they may even have a visit once every three months.