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Health Magazine

Tips on Maintaining Dental Health – Ages 1 to 6

Ensuring your child’s dental health is important from the very first appearance of their teeth. Not only is it imperative to keep their teeth clean to prevent cavities, it is also essential that you set a good example for your child, creating a regular dental care routine that provides a healthy foundation for your child’s future dental health. Here are some tips on maintaining good dental health for children ages 1 to 6 years.
• From the very beginning, make sure to schedule regular visits to the dentist. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and the American Dental Association both recommend that children should be taken to the dentist once they reach their first birthday. Your dentist will check your one year old’s teeth and identify fluoride needs plus address any other potentially dangerous habits that may be preventing good oral hygiene–including thumb sucking or sleeping with a bottle. Children’s teeth are the most susceptible to cavities during the first two years after eruption.
• Brushing is important as soon as teeth become visible. Parents should not use toothpaste for children under 2, just a little water. When they reach the age of two, children can then use pea-sized amounts of toothpaste.
• Remember to change your child’s toothbrush every two months and after children have been sick.
• The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that you assist your child in brushing and flossing until the age of 6. Make sure children’s teeth are brushed at least twice a day. Teach your children the proper brushing techniques. Select a toothbrush that has soft, rounded bristles. Demonstrate circular brush strokes to reach all surfaces of the teeth.
• Initiate flossing children’s gums as soon as the gaps between the teeth close. There are a variety of animal shaped flossers to help make flossing more fun for children.
• Rinsing should become a part of your child’s dental hygiene regimen. For children, many dentists recommend a product like Listerine’s Agent Cool Blue which tints plaque to assist in more efficient brushing.
• Try to restrict the number of sticky snacks your children eat. Sticky foods are called retentive foods as they become stuck in the grooves of the teeth and increase the chance of cavities. Healthy snacks are important to good oral hygiene as well as good health. The odds of experiencing cavities in primary teeth are significantly greater in children who did not have breakfast daily or ate less than five servings of fruit and vegetables per day.
Make trips to the dentist fun for your child. The right attitude makes all the difference to your child’s perception of the dentist. By being positive and setting a good example to your child, your child will grow up with a healthy smile and a friendly relationship with the dentist.…