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How to Protect Your Child’s Teeth

How to Protect Your Child’s Teeth

You can start to clean a baby’s teeth as soon as the first tooth appears. It helps your child from getting tooth decay by starting his dental care early. Brushing is crucial from the get-go. Before your baby has teeth, you can gently brush his gums. Use water on a baby toothbrush, or clean them with a soft washcloth.

When your baby’s teeth appear, brush twice a day with an infant toothbrush and fluoridated toothpaste. Start flossing when two of his teeth touch each other. Ask your dentist about techniques and schedules. Brush and floss just before bedtime. After that, don’t give your child any food or drink, except water, until the next morning.

Don’t put your infant or older child down for a nap with a bottle of juice, formula, or milk. Sugary liquids cling to his teeth, feeding bacteria that can cause tooth decay. If you must give your child a bottle to take to bed, make sure it contains only water.

Replace the toothbrush every 3 or 4 months, or sooner if it shows signs of wear. Never share a toothbrush with others. Ask your dentist about your child’s fluoride needs. If your drinking water is not fluoridated, fluoride supplements or fluoride treatments may be needed.

Ask your dentist about dental sealants. These are thin, plastic protective barriers that fill in the chewing surfaces of the back teeth, protecting them from tooth decay.

Children under seven years are not able to brush their own teeth properly, they need help from an adult, the same way they need help shampooing their hair and tying their shoelaces. Never rinse after brushing, just spitRemember children should never eat or swallow toothpaste. Make sure a child never manages to eat toothpaste from the tube. It takes two to three minutes to brush teeth properly (about the length of a song).