Children and Dental Health
Healthy teeth are important to the child's overall health. From the time your child is born, there are things you can do to promote healthy teeth. For babies, you should clean teeth with a soft, clean cloth or baby's toothbrush. Avoid putting the baby to bed with a bottle and check teeth regularly for spots or stains.
For all children, you should
- Brush teeth with a fluoride toothpaste
- Provide healthy foods and limit sweet snacks and drinks
- Provide low-fat milk and dairy products high in
- Schedule regular dental check-ups
Forming good habits at a young age can help your child have healthy teeth for life.
Before Your Baby is Born
What you eat when you are pregnant is important. Eating right will help you and your growing baby stay healthy. Follow your doctor's advice for eating the right foods and taking vitamins.
It is also time to think about how you will feed your baby. Remember, breast-feeding is best.
Protect Your Baby's Teeth with Fluoride
Fluoride protects teeth from tooth decay and helps heal early decay. Fluoride is in the drinking water of some towns and cities.
Ask your dentist or doctor if your water has fluoride in it. If it doesn't, talk to your dentist or doctor about giving you a prescription for fluoride drops for your baby.
Check and Clean Your Baby's Teeth
Check your baby's teeth.
Healthy teeth should be all ne color. If you see spots or stains on the teeth, take your baby to your dentist.
Clean your baby's teeth
Clean the teeth at least once a day. It's best to clean them right before bedtime.
At about age 2, most of your child's teeth will be in. Now you can start brushing them with a small drop of fluoride toothpaste. Use a drop of toothpaste.
As your child gets older let him use his own toothbrush, but you put the toothpaste on the toothbrush until about age 6.
Young children cannot get their teeth clean by themselves. Until they are 7 or 8 years old, you will need to help them brush. Try brushing their teeth first and then letting them finish. And be sure that you put the toothpaste on the brush, use only a pea-sized amount of toothpaste.
Feed Your Baby Healthy Food
Choose foods that do not have a lot of sugar in them. Give your child fruits and vegetables instead of candy and cookies.
Prevent Baby Bottle Tooth Decay
Do not put your baby to bed with a bottle at night or at nap time. (If you put your baby to bed with a bottle, fill it only with water.)
Milk, formula, juices, and other sweet drinks such as soda all have sugar in them. Sucking on a bottle filled with liquids that have sugar in them can cause tooth decay. Decayed teeth can cause pain and can cost a lot to fill.
During the day, do not give your baby a bottle filled with sweet drinks to use like a pacifier.
If your baby uses a pacifier, do not dip it in anything sweet like sugar or honey.
Near his first birthday, you should teach your child to drink from a cup instead of a bottle.
Take Your Child to the Dentist
Ask your dentist when to bring your child in for his first visit. Usually, the dentist will want to see a child by his first birthday. At this first visit, your dentist can quickly check your child's teeth.