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Keeping Your Child's Mouth Healthy

Taking care of your children’s oral health is key to their long-term general health. Here are some tips for your child’s dental health:

  • The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that a child’s first dental visit takes place when the first tooth appears or by his or her first birthday.
  • MomClean your baby’s gums with plain water and a small, soft-bristled toothbrush designed for infants.
  • Start using a pea-sized amount of fluoridated toothpaste on your child’s brush at age 2 to 3. Children should spit out and not swallow excess toothpaste.
  • Baby teeth are important. Not only do they help children learn to speak and chew naturally, they hold the place for permanent teeth until they are ready to erupt.
  • Children should not fall asleep with a bottle. Juice and other high sugar beverages should be given in a cup, never from a bottle.
  • Let children brush under your supervision and assistance until they can brush by themselves—generally around age 7.
  • Encourage children to chew sugarless gum and stay away from sticky candy.
  • If your child plays sports, make sure he or she always wears a mouth guard.

Help your kids get excited about taking care of their teeth with the fun games and activities in Marshall Molar’s Kid Corner! This information is also available as a downloadable flyer in our Oral Health Flyers section. 

 

Source: The Foundation of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, http://www.aapd.org/foundation/hints.asp, accessed March 2010.