February 7, 2017
February is here, which means it’s time to celebrate Children’s Dental Health Month! This year the ADA chose to focus on the benefits of fluoride for combating tooth decay and promoting oral health. This year’s theme “Choose Tap Water for a Sparkling Smile” aims to educate families on the many benefits of drinking tap water instead of sugar-sweetened beverages. In honor of Children’s Dental Health Month, here are ten things to know about your little one’s teeth:
- As soon as your baby’s teeth poke through, they’re susceptible to tooth decay. It’s important to start using a fluoride toothpaste as soon as their first teeth appear.
- When your child is three or younger, you only need to use as much toothpaste as a grain of rice.
- Dental sealants are another great way to help combat tooth decay and protect your child’s teeth. Sealants have been found to reduce tooth decay in molars by almost 80 percent.
- To prevent baby bottle tooth decay, avoid putting your child to bed with a bottle. Prolonged exposure to sugary drinks can lead to tooth decay.
- You may feel inclined to clean your child’s pacifier with your mouth or feed them off of your spoon, but cavity-causing bacteria can be passed through saliva. Try to avoid sharing utensils to keep your germs separate from your child’s.
- Encourage your child to drink tap water. Tap water is filled with fluoride, which is known to reduce cavities by 25 percent.
- At birth, your child has twenty teeth below their gums that will start erupting between the ages of six months to one year.
- When your child starts teething many babies will become fussy and irritable. It’s common to see your little one lose their appetite or drool more than usual while their teeth come through.
- Your child should come visit the dentist by their first birthday or as soon as their first tooth erupts to start them on the road to outstanding oral health.
- It’s important to clean between your child’s teeth as soon as they have two that touch. This can be before or after brushing, just as long as your child understands the importance of flossing!
This month and every month, we aim to prepare your child for a lifetime of healthy and happy smiles! Stay tuned for our next blog, which will highlight the importance of drinking fluoridated water and the many benefits for you and your child’s oral health.
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