February was National Children’s Dental Month to raise awareness about the importance of good oral health. Parents and children are encouraged to brush their teeth for 2 minutes twice a day. There’s no need to wait until your baby’s teeth actually start coming in to lay the foundations of good oral health. Good nutrition and oral hygiene can start right away. Here are some oral health tips for your children.
1. Start Proper Dental Habits
You can gently clean your infant’s gums and teeth that are coming in with water-soaked gauze.
2. Teach your Children Good Dental Hygiene
Brushing your teeth regularly is critical to their oral health. Start brushing your child’s teeth with a small amount of fluoride toothpaste, not more than a pea sized amount. Let your child do it at first and then follow up to teach them proper technique. By age six, they should be able to brush by themselves. Then you can introduce them to flossing.
3. Avoid Baby Bottle Tooth Decay
Don’t put your child down for a nap with a pacifier or bottle filled with anything but water. Sugary liquids can cling to their teeth and the potential for tooth decay dramatically increases.
4. Avoid Sugar and Cut Back On Juice
Limit your child to only 4 ounces of 100% juice a day. It will take your child’s saliva a minimum of 30 minutes to neutralize the acid that sugar creates. The more sugar that they have throughout the day, the higher the increase in their chances of tooth decay.
5. Make a Dentist Appointment
You may make your child’s first dentist appointment by the age of one and then regularly after that. Your dentist will be able to teach you how to prevent dental disease, check for cavities and properly take care of your child’s teeth.
Brushing your child’s teeth for two minutes at night and reading for 20 minutes before bed is a good way of building oral health habits and literacy habits. Here are some good books to read with your children before going to the dentist; ABC Dentist: Healthy Teeth from A – Z, Curious George Visits the Dentist, Elmo Visits the Dentist, and The Tooth Book: A Guide to Healthy Teeth and Gums.
Teaching your children proper dental care techniques at a young age will result in a lifetime of bright smiles and happy teeth. If you have any questions about your child’s teeth, call Dr. Fulmer.
Reminder – Dr. Fulmer will be participating on the Rotary Club of Kenosha-West team in the Kenosha Literacy Council Hollywood Buzz Spelling Bee on Friday, April 8th. You can join in the fun too – here is more information: http://www.kenoshalit.org/hollywood-buzz-klcs-17th-annual-spelling-bee