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Brush up on your child’s dental care with these tips

Mom teaches her daughter how to brush her teeth.
Blog

/ by UK HealthCare

Did you know a child’s dental care is just as important as an adult’s? Even though their baby teeth will fall out in a few years, babies and kids need healthy teeth to learn how to chew and talk normally. Baby teeth even help to form your child’s jaw bone and to make room for permanent teeth.

Whether it’s when to start or what to eat, there’s a lot to consider when caring for your child’s dental health. Here are some easy tips to keep your child’s teeth growing strong:

Care for babies and toddlers

It’s never too early to start keeping up with good oral health. If you have an infant or toddler, start with these guidelines:

  • Clean your baby’s gums and mouth with a soft, clean cloth so they can get used to the feeling.
  • Use a soft baby’s toothbrush and be extra gentle when their teeth do come in.
  • Brush with plain tap water if your child is under 2 years old.
  • Brush with a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste if your child is 2 or older. Use this small amount until they can rinse and spit on their own.
  • Don’t send them to bed with a bottle of milk or juice because the sugars will sit on their teeth all night and start to form cavities.

Care for kids

When your child is around 4 years old, they will probably be a little more independent. Use these tips to teach them a daily brushing routine:

  • Brush twice a day, in the morning and before bedtime, preferably after meals.
  • Brush for two minutes. Show them how to use a timer or play their favorite song to help keep time.
  • Help and monitor their brushing technique until they are about 6 or 7 years old.
  • Keep an eye out for spots or stains on your child’s teeth.
  • Schedule check-ups with their dentist on a regular basis.

Keep an eye out for sugar

Your child’s diet is another key player in keeping their teeth healthy and cavity-free. Keep these ideas in mind when choosing your child’s food:

  • Try to minimize their intake of sugary foods, such as candy. Instead, suggest healthier snacks, such as carrot sticks or string cheese.
  • Avoid sugary drinks, including juice and soda. Watering down their juice is a good option, too.
  • Make sure your child is getting enough fluoride. Most tap water is fluoridated, but your dentist might also be able to provide fluoride supplements if needed.

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