Consumer Reports

Time to Get Your Kids Back to the Dentist's Office

NBCUniversal, Inc.

One of the best ways to protect your children’s teeth is by teaching them good oral hygiene habits from a young age. And even though the COVID-19 pandemic delayed dental care for many families, Consumer Reports says now is the time to get back on track.

Most dental offices are following rigorous safety measures so you can feel comfortable taking your child back to the dentist.

“As with everything with the pandemic, a little apprehension is normal, but it’s important to maintain good oral health. Their routine visits are important and you want to maintain that proper care and that foundation,” said pediatric dentist Dr. Mrunal Parmar.

Cavities are the most common childhood disease. The American Academy of Pediatrics says that by age 3, 1 in 4 children will have one or more cavities.

That’s why it’s important to teach our children good habits from an early age.

Your child’s first dental visit should be within the first six months after their first tooth erupts, and no later than their first year of age, and then every six months after that.

It's also important for parents to help kids maintain healthy habits at home.

“It goes beyond just cleaning teeth, it also helps build habits and routines that carry to other aspects of their lives,” said Parmar. “Brushing twice a day, flossing. Kids are no different than adults. We take care of ourselves, we want to take care of their teeth.”

As soon as your child has a tooth, help him or her by brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste about the size of a grain of rice. At age 3, you can start using a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste, which helps prevent cavities.

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