4 Tips to Start Your Child on the Road to Good Oral Health

Your children need your help to get a good start on having a lifelong healthy smile. You can take a few steps before they even have teeth to help them develop good oral hygiene. Here are few tips to help you help them!

Start caring for your baby’s teeth before they come in.

Wipe your baby’s gums, even before teeth come in, with a clean, damp washcloth to reduce harmful bacteria. Those little teeth are in there forming, and you can help them have a strong start.

Brush early and gently.

As soon as those first teeth come in, they need brushed. Use a child-sized tooth brush with a fluoride tooth paste that has the American Dental Association’s (ADA) seal of approval. Use a tiny smear of toothpaste about the size of a grain of rice and brush gently twice per day. Be gentle, but thorough, and brush all of the teeth.

Proper nutrition helps build strong teeth.

Milk is important for those forming teeth. Other dairy, such as real cheese, is good too. Sugary drinks and treats can cause damage to small teeth, so be sure to brush the teeth after sweetened beverages and snacks like fruit leather. Even sweetened medicine can harm teeth, so brush teeth after a child takes medicine.

Start dental visits early.

Bring your baby in for his or her first dental visit by about age one. Your dentist can provide extra guidance on how to care for your child’s teeth and watch for problem areas. These small teeth can form cavities, so keeping an eye on the teeth helps catch a problem before your child feels a toothache.