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A Service of the Commonwealth of Virginia
Your child’s teeth actually begin to form half-way through pregnancy. At birth, your baby has 20 primary teeth growing below the gums. Usually your baby’s first tooth will appear when baby is between four and seven months of age.
Good nutrition, good dental habits, and regular dental checkups will help your child have a beautiful smile. Putting your baby to sleep with a bottle can be harmful to your baby’s teeth. Sugars from juice or milk eat away at the enamel of your baby’s teeth even before you can see the teeth.
Infants should have oral screenings by the doctor and a referral to the dentist if there is a problem. Your child’s first visit to the dentist should occur within six months of getting the first tooth and no later than 12 months of age. Dental benefits are covered under FAMIS through the Smiles For Children program.
As your child grows older, he or she will become more independent about brushing and flossing. Encourage your child to practice good dental habits and make good food choices. One way to do this is to read to your child about dental health. Another way is to model this to your child by showing them how to brush, floss, and go to the dentist. Also, remind your child to wear a mouth guard when playing contact sports like soccer and football. Remember to schedule regular dental exams every six months!Questions & Answers on Dental Care...