February is Children's Dental Health Month! So how early should your child start visiting the dentist?
Once your little one starts getting chompers, that's when your child should start visiting the dentist.
Dr. Kari Bolen with Family Dentistry says even though those little teeth aren't permanent, but they can get cavities.
"The important part about baby teeth is that they hold the space for the adult teeth. So we want to keep those baby teeth until they're about age 12, when they naturally will all be gone and fall out," said Bolen.
When they're really little, oral health care is mostly about training the child.
Lindsey Davie says she tries to make sure her daughter Katie knows dental care is a regular part of the day.
"We have already started a routine of brushing her teeth daily. Her and her older sister, we make sure we brush them before bed to teach a good routine of that," Davie said.
One of the most important parts of taking your child to the dentist early is to teach them that it's not a scary experience. Things like this stuffed animal with teeth, help show the kids that it can be a positive experience.
"Sometimes parents will transmit their feelings about coming to the dentist to the children. And we want to see those kids early and show them that it can be a very fun experience for them," said Bolen.
Bolen says you should be teaching your kids how to hold the toothbrush early on, but they shouldn't be left alone to brush their teeth until about third grade.
Not every child is going to enjoy their time in the dentists chair, so parents may need to get creative and just keep trying.
"Use a fun toothbrush, just kind of play a game with it. Let her brush her teeth a little bit. Just to get used to it herself," said Davie.
"Sometimes it is a challenge. And the best advice I have is to stick with it," said Bolen.
Bolen says do not use a lot of tooth paste on young children, and to make sure it is fluoride free.