Dental health, the care of teeth and gums, is an important part of your child's well being. A dentist is a key member of your child's health care team. Your child may need to be followed by a pediatric dentist, a dentist who specializes in the treatment of children. Also, you may have to find a dentist who specializes in caring for children with special health care needs.

Ask your child's primary care provider (PCP) about finding a pediatric dentist that meets the needs of your child. You can also find the names of pediatric dentists in your local area by contacting:

Tip: If you are having trouble finding a dentist that accepts your child's health insurance, contact Health Law Advocates at 617-338-5241 or 800-272-4232 x2980.

Before your child's first dental exam, tell the dentist about your child's special needs, health history, and current medications. Some children with special health care needs are at-risk for bacterial infection during dental procedures. Ask the dentist whether your child needs antibiotics before the visit to protect against infection.

Have your child's teeth checked regularly by a dentist. Schedule the first visit to a dentist by your child's first birthday. Talk to the dentist about how often your child needs a check-up.