National Dental Health Month

My son, Matt, is not only a dentist, but also the father of five children. I thought he would be the perfect one to talk about Children’s Dental Health Month.

February is National Children’s Dental Health Month. Remember that a child’s teeth should be cleaned from the time that the first baby tooth comes in. Babies’ teeth should be wiped with just a moist washcloth. As the child gets older you should still be the one cleaning their teeth. Use a child-sized, soft-bristled toothbrush. Remember–adults should only use soft-bristled brushes as well! Any toothpaste with the ADA (American Dental Assoc.) seal can be used. There are many different brands and flavors–don’t hesitate to let your child try different ones. Since fluoride can make a child sick if swallowed in large quantities, be sure to smear only a small amount on the brush and teach them to rinse and spit–no swallowing! Flossing is difficult for a child, so encourage them to try and help them as they are learning. Brush after meals and snacks when possible but make sure the brushing before bedtime is a thorough one. Be sure they have nothing to eat or drink except water afterwards.

Take your child to the dentist early–age two or three. Nothing in depth, just to meet the dentist, maybe try a cleaning but do not make it a big deal. Sealants in teeth can save on future dental bills, but do not forget–you can still get cavities under sealants if they are eating sugar and not brushing their teeth. Avoid bottles and sippy cups in between meals unless it is water. Never, never, never send a child to bed with a milk or juice bottle. That is a great way to rot their teeth.

If you currently do that, do not feel bad, just start now by thinning the drink with water until they are off completely or drinking only water.

1 Comment

  • 1. April Megahey  |  February 12th, 2007 at 11:46 am

    I do beleive this is very true. I learned the hard way with my childs teeth. At the age of one n a half my daughter was finally bottel broke.At the age of two she had teeth problems that was caused by the bottel at night with milk and juice. she had surgrey november 24th at childrens hospital.I felt very bad for her knowing that her teeth problems were my fault.The only way you learn is by your mistakes so to any parent reading this please take my advice stop now before it is to late.Surgrey is one of the hardest things to go trew w/ your child thanks abounch for taking the time to read this