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Keeping Teeth Healthy

February: National Children's Dental Health Month

By Bright by Three - February 1, 2018

You probably know how many teeth your baby has, it’s one of those questions strangers ask baby moms in the grocery store, but do you know all of the ways you should be caring for them?

February is National Children’s Dental Health Month, and in honor of it, here are some tips to care for your child’s teeth from Bright by Text.

Caring for baby teeth is just as important as caring for adult teeth. Cavities can spread from baby teeth to adult teeth, and the health of your child’s teeth and gums is linked to their overall health.

Pre-teeth - first teeth:
  • Wipe baby’s gums with a washcloth after meals right from the start to keep them clean and help babies get used to the feeling of cleaning their gums.
  • Once teeth arrive, brush them with a smear of fluoride toothpaste the size of a grain of rice twice a day.
  • According to the American Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry fluoride toothpaste is perfectly safe for babies and toddlers, and helps prevent tooth decay.

Early eater:
  • Encourage your child to go from a bottle to a cup by one year of age. It’s better for teeth and overall development.
  • Check your child’s teeth for brown or black marks, which are signs of a cavity. It can get worse unless treated right away.
  • Skip the juice! Juice has a lot of sugar and can be bad for your child’s teeth, give your child water and fruit instead.

Full on carnivore:  
  • Your child may want to brush his own teeth, but you should take the lead until he’s 6 years old to make sure that all sides of their teeth are brushed. If brushing teeth is a daily battle here are some ideas to help:
  • Make it a game: you can pretend to find “wild animals” in her mouth and chase them around with a toothbrush. (“Oh, I see a purple polka-dotted hippopotamus in the back! Open up so I can get it!”) Or tell her that the toothbrush is a “tooth tickler.” You want to use the “tooth tickler” to see which teeth might be ticklish.
  • Sing a song that your child likes.
  • Brush your child’s teeth while he is taking a bath.
  • Download one of the many free brushing apps on your smartphone. Some have two-minute timers. Others have animated characters that children love.
  • Trade places. Let your little one brush your teeth! And make sure she sees you brushing your teeth twice a day.
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