If you’re pregnant, adding your little one to your health and dental coverage is probably on your pre-baby to-do list. But really, you don’t need to take action until your baby arrives:
Here’s what you need to know:
- How you enroll your baby will depend on your coverage. You’ll either need to contact HR, your insurer directly or make the addition on Gov (New Jersey).
- Insurance companies typically require that a newborn be added to a policy within 30 days of birth.
- Dental care should begin at birth. Dentists recommend wiping baby’s gums with a damp washcloth or soft infant toothbrush after meals. Once the first tooth erupts, start brushing gently with a soft, baby-sized toothbrush twice a day. Schedule your child’s first dental appointment by age 1.
Other new parent dental tips to keep in mind:
- Never put a child to bed with a bottle of milk, juice, sweetened water or soft drinks. The sugar in these beverages can lead to severe tooth decay.
- Begin using a small dab of fluoride toothpaste when brushing your child’s teeth at the age of 24 months – be sure to check with your child’s doctor first.
- Help your child begin to brush his or her own teeth as soon as they are able, usually around age 2.
- Supervise and assist with brushing and flossing until the child has demonstrated the coordination and willingness to consistently do a thorough job on his or her own – usually around age 6 to 8.
- Check your children’s toothbrushes often; when the bristles begin to splay apart they need to be replaced.
Practice a healthy dental routine to keep your child can cavity-free! Learn how to care for kids’ smiles at every age.