Feb 10, 2008

Caring for your child's teeth

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.


Anonymous said...

Don't forget about tooth injuries to baby's teeth! They can lead to abscesses and low-lying gum infections that can affect permanent teeth. I know--I split my chin in a fall in kindergarten, but I had a gum infection that wasn't caught by the dentist until it had already killed two adult teeth. Root canals, rods, and crowns to follow... My 3 y. o. is going thru something similar after she knocked-in her front teeth in a fall four months ago.

Jen_nifer said...

Are many people really bringing their less than one year olds into the dentist? It seems a little overkill.

Clean ClutterFree Simple said...

My two little ones have been to the dentist every six months since they turned 1. No cavities now (they're 8 and 4), and they brush and floss every day. Tip for flossing kids: use a floss holder. Not the one-use ones, they're waaaay too expensive and wasteful but the ones that look like a handle.

I had tons of cavities as a kid due to bad habits and not wanting to floss daily, so I want the kids to have a better start.

Chief Family Officer said...

@Yune - Yikes! I didn't know about that, I'll definitely keep it in mind from now on. Thanks for the heads up.

@Jen_nifer - I'm Clean Clutterfree Simple. I have too many cavities, I really want my kids to avoid my fate!

@CCS - Good for you! I feel the same way, I want my kids to avoid the problems I had. Thanks for the tip on the floss holder - as soon as the dentist suggests we use one, I'm getting one of those holders. Is there a brand you'd recommend?

Anonymous said...

Thanks for contributing this post to this week’s Carnival of Family Life, hosted at Modern Sage — Practical Living Blog. The Carnival will be live tomorrow, so please stop by and peruse all of the wonderful articles submitted this week!

Michelle said...

We got a late start on going to the dentist due to lack of insurance, unfortunately...but, my kids (ages 5 and 6 now) go every 6 months now and have for the past 2 years, so we are doing well now. Before then, we did brush and floss, though. :) I have to admit, though--it can be a challenge to get young boys to floss all the time!