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11 Things You Need to Know About Your Child's Teeth

Keep your children smiling! You can keep your child from getting tooth decay by starting dental care at an early age. Here's what you need to know to keep that beautiful smile healthy.

1. Dental care should start immediately.

At first, you only need to wipe your baby’s gums after feeding to prevent the spread of bacteria. As soon as teeth begin to show through the gums, you should begin lightly brushing their teeth.

2. Get professionals involved.

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentists (AAPD) recommends that children see a dentist by their first birthday. If you think your child is ready for their first appointment, click here to schedule one.

3. Be frugal with toothpaste.

For children under the age of 3, use a small amount of toothpaste - roughly the size of a grain of rice. After age 3, use a pea sized amount of low fluoride toothpaste. Always remind them to avoid swallowing toothpaste.

4. You lead by example.

Adults are supposed to brush twice a day for two minutes and floss once or twice each day – and so are kids. Model good habits and talk to your child about the importance of dental hygiene.

5. The Tooth Fairy exists!

Your child will typically lose their first tooth when they are 5-7 years old. It may be scary and/or uncomfortable for your child, so be sure to prepare them for this exciting event!

6. It’s important to use dental care products designed for children.

Smaller brush heads can make it easier for kids to reach all their teeth and do a more thorough job of cleaning them. Toothpastes and mouthwashes that are created for children are more likely to encourage children to see dental care as a fun and positive thing.

7. That pacifier can be dangerous.

Your child should stop using their pacifier by age 2 or 3, otherwise it can have long-term effects on their teeth.

8. Your child’s diet heavily influences the condition of their teeth.

Encourage your children to have a diet filled with fruits and vegetables for optimal teeth quality.

9. Tap water helps.

Encourage your child to drink lots of tap water. Most tap water has fluoride in it, which will protect your child from tooth decay. Bottled water may not contain fluoride.

10. Beware of nap time.

Avoid giving your child juice, formula or milk before a nap or bedtime - the liquids will cling to their teeth and feed the bacteria that causes tooth decay.

11. Take them to the dentist regularly.

They should go about every six months for routine cleanings and check ups. This is good for their teeth, and can help build your child’s comfort level with the dentist.

If it has been more than six months since your last appointment, schedule a checkup today.