Baby teeth will fall out, but they are still very important to your child’s health. They help children eat, speak clearly, and hold space so permanent teeth can grow in straight.
Tooth decay is too common, and besides being painful and can lead to ear and sinus infections, difficulty speaking, and a lack of concentration. You can help prevent decay by encouraging your child to start good dental habits now.
Easy things you can do:
- Before teeth come in, remember to wipe your child’s gums with a soft cloth.
- At 1 year or when their first tooth comes in take them to the dentist.
- Start brushing at the first tooth and remember to brush everywhere.
- Reduce the amount of sugar, if any, your child eats or drinks.
California law now requires your child have a dental check-up by May 31 of his or her first year in public school (kindergarten or first grade). Assessments within 12 months before your child enters school also meet this requirement. A licensed dentist or other licensed/registered dental health professional must do the assessment. The following resources will help you find a dentist and complete this requirement for your child:
For a Medi-Cal/Dent-Cal dentist, call San Mateo Health System Family Health Services at (650) 573-2501 or (888) 840-0889 or find information online at http://www.smchealth.org/dentalcare.
If you do not have health insurance call the Health Coverage Unit at (650) 616-2002 for assistance.
Here is a list of dentists that accept Medi-Cal.