HOW TO PROTECT YOUR CHILDRENS TEETH AT HOME

Here are some tips to protect your children’s teeth:

  • Before teeth come in, clean gums with a clean, damp cloth.
  • Start brushing with a small, soft-bristled toothbrush and a very small amount of toothpaste (the size of a grain of rice) when your child’s first tooth appears. Use a pea-sized dab of fluoridated toothpaste after 3 years of age. This is when the child is old enough to spit out the toothpaste after brushing.
  • Prevent baby bottle tooth decay. Don’t give children a bottle of milk, juice, or sweetened liquid at bedtime or when put down to nap.
  • Limit the time your child has a bottle. Your child should empty a bottle in 5 to 6 minutes or less.
  • Help your child brush his or her own teeth until age 7 or 8. Have the child watch you brush, and follow the same brushing pattern to reduce missed spots
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  • Limit foods and treats that increase tooth decay. This includes hard or sticky candies, fruit leather, and sweetened drinks and juice. Offer fruit rather than juice. The fiber in fruit tends to scrape the teeth clean. Juice just exposes the teeth to sugar.

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