Newzcentral: Head to Toe: Early dental care is key to child's overall health "Many people are unaware of the important role early dental care plays in children's overall health. Parents need to take action early to insure the health of their children's teeth because attitudes and habits established at an early age are critical in maintaining good oral health throughout life." [This article goes on to list the hazards of feeing juice in a bottle and confuses breastfeeding and bottle feeding with suggestions to not breastfeed for an extended period, and a statement about encourging drinking from a cup after one year. Argh. - JC]
Regular dental check-ups should begin within six months of the eruption of the first tooth, and no later than the child's first birthday. Preventive care such as cleanings and fluoride treatment provide children with "smile" insurance. Routine dental exams uncover problems that can be treated in the early stages, when damage is minimal and restorations may be small.
Fluoride is considered one of the most effective elements for preventing tooth decay. Research shows that fluoride reduces cavities by up to 50 percent in children. Therefore, water fluoridation is present in many cities. If city water does not contain fluoride, dentists can recommend various ways for your child to get it including: