How to Keep Children's Teeth Healthy?

How to Keep Children's Teeth Healthy?

Kids generally get their baby teeth around 6 months and lose them until age 12. In the United States, cavities (also known as caries or tooth decay) have become the most common chronic disease of childhood (more information from http://vizhub.healthdata.org/gbd-compare). Untreated cavities can cause pain and infections that may influence children's eating, speaking and learning.

What Are the Risk Factors for Cavities?

The chance of getting cavities will be higher if:

  • Parents, older brothers or sisters have cavities.
  • Eat a lot of sugar, like cola, chocolate, especially between meals.
  • Have special health care needs.
  • Wear braces or orthodontics or oral appliances.

The good news is that cavities are preventable. It is essential for parents to pay enough attention to their kid's dental health before teeth come in.

What Parenets and Caregivers Can Do?

Below are some tips from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) :

For Babies

  • Wipe gums twice a day with a soft, clean cloth in the morning after the first feeding and right before bed to wipe away bacteria and sugars that can cause cavities.
  • When teeth come in, start brushing twice a day with a soft, smallbristled toothbrush and plain water.
  • Visit the dentist by your baby’s first birthday to spot signs of problems early.
  • Talk to your dentist or doctor about putting fluoride varnish on your child’s teeth as soon as the first tooth appears.

For children younger than 2, consult first with your doctor or dentist regarding the use of fluoride toothpaste.

For Children

  • Brush their teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste.

  • Help your child brush their teeth until they have good brushing skills.

  • If your child is younger than 6, watch them brush. Make sure they use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste and always spit it out rather than swallow.

  • Ask your child’s dentist to apply dental sealants when appropriate.

  • Drink tap water that contains fluoride.

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