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Healthy Oral Habits for Kids to Cultivate

Toddler brushing teethHelping your child develop healthy dental habits starts earlier than you might think. There are steps you should be taking for your baby almost immediately after they’re born. From infancy through middle school, your child’s smile is constantly changing and evolving.

Here are some essential tips to help ensure every child’s smile is a healthy one from infancy.

Clean your baby’s mouth before teeth come in. Use a soft, damp washcloth to wipe your baby’s gums after each feeding. This action will help reduce the risk of infection and prepare them for having a toothbrush in their mouth later.

Never put your baby to bed with a bottle. Anything other than water—such as milk or juice—can encourage tooth decay. When your baby keeps a bottle in their crib, the liquid continually coats their teeth as they sip on it.

Schedule a dental checkup by the time their first tooth is in. Paediatric experts recommend that every child have a dental checkup by their first birthday or when their first tooth comes in, whichever comes first.

Brush and floss for them until they can tie their shoes. A certain level of dexterity is needed to thoroughly clean your teeth. Encourage independence by letting your child brush and floss on their own, but always follow up behind them to make sure it’s been done correctly.

Use an appropriate toothbrush size and toothpaste. Smaller head toothbrushes can easily reach around tiny teeth. Use a rice grain-sized amount of fluoridated toothpaste to clean their teeth, as the mineral encourages strong enamel that’s more resistant to decay.

Promote healthy snacking habits. Fresh fruits and veggies, whole grains and dairy are all great for tooth and gum health. Steer clear of processed or packaged foods, which usually have high sugar and carbohydrates that promote higher dental plaque levels.

For more advice on how to help your child have a strong, healthy smile that lasts for life, schedule your family’s next visit with us!

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