Is Your Child On Track? Ages and Stages of Dental Health for Children

HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania (Feb. 2, 2017) — The dental health needs of children change as they grow, and parents can monitor their child’s oral care at every age using a few easy-to-follow tips from United Concordia Dental, a dental solutions company focused on wellness.

“During Children’s Dental Health Month in February and throughout the year, parents need to understand how to best take care of their children’s teeth and gums at each stage, whether they have an infant, toddler or teen,” said Quinn Dufurrena, D.D.S., J.D., chief dental officer at United Concordia. “One thing these different age groups have in common is their ability to learn proper dental health habits now.”

These include proper brushing, flossing and rinsing, as well as good nutrition, to protect young teeth and gums. If gone untreated, a child’s cavity can lead to infection, pain and gum disease that lingers into adulthood. During Children’s Dental Health Month, following these tips can help put your child on the path to good oral health:

0-1 year: Wipe baby’s gums with a soft cloth or rubber finger toothbrush for 2-3 seconds after feedings. Avoid putting your baby in the crib with a bottle because the sugars can fuel bacteria and cause cavities. Schedule your baby’s first dentist appointment when their first tooth comes in, but no later than their first birthday.

1-3 years: Introduce a soft toothbrush and toothpaste, and show your child how to brush. Use fluoride toothpaste sparingly and demonstrate flossing when their teeth begin to fit together. It is also time to kick the pacifier or thumb-sucking habit for good. If all 20 baby teeth have not appeared by age three, consult your dentist.

3-6 years: Continue to supervise their oral health habits and make the daily process fun with United Concordia’s Chomper Chums mobile app. Ask your dentist when the right time is for your child’s first dental X-rays.

6-10 years: At this age, your child will begin to lose baby teeth. As adult teeth come in, consult with an orthodontist who can spot structural issues with their teeth as early as age seven and recommend retainers or braces, if needed.

10-teen: By this time, your child should have a good understanding of proper dental care. By age 13, check with your dentist to confirm all permanent teeth are in place. Keep an eye out for wisdom teeth in late teens, which may need to be surgically removed below the gums.

To learn more, view the Children’s Dental Health Timeline on UnitedCorcordia.com. Throughout Children’s Dental Health Month, read more on pediatric dental tips on the Benefits Bridge blog from United Concordia.
 

For further information: Beth Rutherford United Concordia Dental 717-260-7659 beth.rutherford@ucci.com Leilyn Perri Highmark Health 717-302-4243 leilyn.perri@highmarkhealth.org