The Tooth Truth: Caring for Your Child’s Teeth

 In Family Time Tips & Tools, Infants, Toddlers

LAY THE FOUNDATION FOR A LIFETIME OF HEALTHY SMILES (AND TEETH) FOR YOUR BABY, TODDLER OR BIG KID!

It has been said eyes are the window to the soul. But when it comes to oral health, smiles and giggles can also tell us a lot. When our little ones are feeling happy, we know they are thriving physically and emotionally.

Here are four tips for keeping healthy smiles in your household:

BRUSH TWICE A DAY

Early Childhood for National Centers recommends sweeping away food after breakfast and before bed to keep bacteria and tooth decay at bay. Brush everywhere inside the mouth, including your tongue, and don’t worry about rinsing, some leftover toothpaste (especially fluoride toothpaste) is good for little teeth!

CHOOSE HEALTHY DRINKS & SNACKS

Drinks and foods that are sweet, have sugar or honey in them can harm your child’s teeth and lead to gum disease. Fruits and vegetables are good snack options and will keep visits to the dentist to a minimum.

Some examples of healthy drinks & snacks provided by the National Center on Early Childhood Health and Wellness include:

  • Low-fat milk, water.
  • Apples, bananas, oranges, berries, chopped carrots, green beans.

HAPPY SLEEP

A child with new teeth sleeps better without a bottle or leftover food in their mouth. Sleeping with food or drinks inside the mouth can cause serious infections around new teeth, according to the National Institute for Dental and Craniofacial Research.

Does your child still want to sleep with a bottle?

  • Fill the bottle with only water.
  • Use a pacifier instead!

VISIT A DENTIST

No two smiles are alike! Visiting a dentist will help you understand the ways in which your child’s smile is special to keep it healthy. A baby’s first dentist appointment should be scheduled as soon as the first tooth comes out. If a child has teeth, it means they can get cavities.

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