Keeping Your Kids’ Teeth on the Right Track

    Summer fun can mean more ice cream and cotton candy, but the American Dental Association says kids miss more than 51 million hours of school every year because of dental disease.

    FOX’s Lisa Brady has tips and some reassurance in this week’s “FOX on Family”:

    The Tooth Fairy recently came to my house twice in one week. But I often wonder, are my kids’ teeth on the right track?:

    (Dr. Shenkin) “It’s probably one of the more common questions from parents; is my child normal?”

    Pediatric Dentist and American Dental Association spokesman Dr. Jonathan Shenkin, says the normal range is six-to-10 months old to start teething, five-to-seven years old to start losing them:

    (Dr. Shenkin) “And even if it’s a little early or it’s a little late as long as everything appears to be anatomically present we generally don’t worry either.”

    Regular checkups can help catch any issues. And he says don’t let good habits slip over the summer:

    (Dr. Shenkin) “Sticking to brushing twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste, that’s one of those areas where people sort of feel like they can let that slide a little bit; they can maybe just do it once a day, maybe every other day they’ll do it twice.”

    Twice a day to avoid tooth decay, and the earlier kids do that and floss, the more likely they’ll be habits for life. For back to school, Dr. Shenkin also recommends water instead of a juice box in the lunch box.

    With FOX on Family, I’m Lisa Brady.

    The ADA’s consumer website,, has more information, including 8 tips for a successful back-to-school checkup. Dr. Shenkin says kids should brush the way they normally do so the dentist can see what’s actually happening on a daily basis. He also urges kids who play sports to use mouthguards.