What’s the rule of twos? How bad are cavities for children? What should never be in your baby’s mouth at bedtime? We have these and many more answers as part of Children’s Dental Health Awareness Month.
- Know the rules of twos. You should always brush your children’s teeth twice a day – every morning and every night for two minutes, regardless of how many teeth is in his or her mouth.
- Did you know: A baby should never be put to bed with a bottel or sippy cup filled with anything other than water.
- When should you schedule your first dental appointment? Find a dental home and take your child to the dentist by the time of the first tooth appears by age 1.
- How dangerous is tooth decay (cavities)? Tooth decay (cavities) are the No. 1 long-lasting disease in young children – even more than asthma.
- Can you catch a cavity? Germs that cause tooth cavities can be passed from parent or caregiver to a child. Choosing healthy behaviors from an early age will help prevent tooth decay (cavities) and improve a child’s overall health throughout his or her lifetime.
- How do you prepare your child for visiting the dentist? Read your child a book about going to the dentist, schedule a tour of the offices before the first visit and role play at home on what to expect for the visit.
- How long should supervise your child’s brushing and flossing? A general rule, depending on your child’s development, is keep up with your child’s brushing and flossing activitiy until he or she is 8 or 9 years old.
- Which toothbrush should you get for your child? Choose a soft or extra soft toothbrush with the right size handle and head for his or her mouth.
- How often should a tooth brush be changed. Every 3 to 4 months, when the bristles become worn or after there has been an illness.
- What toothpaste should you use for your child? Use a beginning, infant toothpaste for training, which is really a gel and without fluoride, so there’s no problem if the baby swallows it. The beginner toothpaste introduces the feel of something being on the toothbrush so by the time the baby turns 2 years of age, you are ready to introduce a children’s toothpaste that has fluoride in it.
Visit a dentist right away if you notice anything different with your child’s mouth or if you have questions or concerns. If a child is not yet 2 years old, parents or guardians need to talk to a dentist before using toothpaste with fluoride rinse.
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