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How to keep kids teeth healthy

Vaccines | Allergies | Obesity | Mental Health | Nutrition | Pediatricians

Keeping kids’ teeth healthy is essential for their overall well-being and proper development. Here are some tips to help maintain good oral health for children:

  1. Establish a Dental Routine:
    • Start dental care early, even before the first tooth erupts. Gently clean your baby’s gums with a soft, damp cloth after feedings.
    • Once teeth start coming in, use a small, soft-bristled toothbrush designed for infants or toddlers to brush their teeth twice a day.
  2. Use the Right Toothpaste:
    • For children under the age of 3, use a smear of fluoride toothpaste about the size of a grain of rice.
    • For children aged 3 to 6, use a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste. Teach them to spit out the toothpaste after brushing.
  3. Teach Proper Brushing Technique:
    • Show your child how to brush gently in small circles, focusing on all surfaces of the teeth and the tongue.
    • Supervise brushing until your child can effectively brush on their own, usually around the age of 6 or 7.
  4. Floss Regularly:
    • As soon as your child’s teeth start touching, introduce flossing. Flossing helps remove food particles and plaque from between teeth and below the gumline.
  5. Encourage Healthy Eating:
    • Limit sugary snacks and drinks, especially sticky candies and sugary beverages. These can contribute to tooth decay.
    • Offer a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and low-fat dairy products.
  6. Stay Hydrated:
    • Encourage your child to drink water throughout the day. Water helps rinse away food particles and keeps the mouth hydrated.
  7. Limit Sippy Cups and Bottles:
    • Avoid prolonged use of sippy cups and bottles filled with sugary liquids. This can contribute to tooth decay, especially when children fall asleep with them.
  8. Regular Dental Check-ups:
    • Schedule regular dental check-ups for your child. The dentist can identify any dental issues early and provide guidance on proper oral hygiene.
  9. Fluoride:
    • Fluoride helps strengthen tooth enamel and prevent cavities. Many tap water sources contain fluoride. If your water isn’t fluoridated, talk to your dentist about fluoride supplements or treatments.
  10. Protect Teeth During Sports:
    • If your child plays contact sports, make sure they wear a mouthguard to protect their teeth from injuries.
  11. Lead by Example:
    • Show your child that you prioritize oral health by taking care of your own teeth. Brush and floss together as a family to make it a positive routine.
  12. Promote Good Habits:
    • Reward your child for consistent brushing and flossing with praise or small rewards to create positive associations with oral hygiene.
  13. Avoid Sharing Utensils or Cleaning Pacifiers with Your Mouth:
    • This can pass harmful bacteria from your mouth to your child’s.

Remember, establishing good oral hygiene habits from a young age can set the foundation for a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums. Regular dental care and positive oral hygiene routines can prevent dental problems and help your child maintain a beautiful smile.

The Pediatric.me content is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice or as a substitute for medical advice of a physician