February is National Children’s Dental Health Month, so the folks at Oral B have asked me to share some information with you. Here’s what they have to say about cleaning your child’s teeth:
Children’s oral health needs differ throughout their childhood, so parents need to encourage good habits early on. Teaching healthy oral care early in a child’s life will make for happy smiles in the future.
When to Begin:
- Clean newborn baby’s gums with a damp washcloth following feedings to prevent the buildup of plaque, bacteria that accumulate on teeth and cause decay.
- When their child’s first teeth appear, parents should brush them for two minutes twice a day to begin instilling the recommended regimen, focusing on the teeth that conduct most of the chewing and back teeth where cavities often first develop.
- To make brushing a fun experience, brush with your child to set a good example, and sing a song or recite a nursery rhyme for two minutes to help along the brushing process.
- Visit the dentist when children’s first teeth come in. A good rule of thumb is: “First visit by first birthday.”
Why is it important to take care of your child’s teeth from infancy? Because more than 50 percent of five to nine year-old children have at least one cavity or filling.