Oral health affects kids in many ways. Eating and sleeping habits, school attendance and self-esteem are all influenced by oral health habits. Across the United States, more than 51 million hours of school are missed each year due to dental disease.1 Tooth decay is the most common chronic illness among school-age children, and it is almost entirely preventable.

For children to grow up strong and healthy, they need to understand how to take care of their teeth as early as possible. Prevention and detection are essential in avoiding early oral health issues. Plan to introduce your child to the dentist between the ages of 6 and 12 months, with the appearance of his or her first tooth.2 These early teeth are at risk for decay as soon as they make their appearance. If you have any questions, your dentist can recommend the appropriate appointment schedule for your child.

1 “Oral Health in America: A Report of the Surgeon General (Executive Summary)” National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. Accessed 2013.
2 “Ask Your Dentist About Dental Care for Your Baby.” American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. Accessed 2012.3 “Ask Your Dentist About Regular Dental Visits.” American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. Accessed 2012.