February is National Children’s Dental Health Month. KANA has teamed up with the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry to offer information to help you care for your child’s little teeth. Did you know that tooth decay is one of the top chronic infectious diseases among children in the U.S.?
Many parents are surprised to learn that tooth decay can begin as early as age 1. Children with tooth decay are far more likely to develop immediate and long term oral health issues, including pain, infections, difficulty speaking, problems eating food, tooth discoloration and even tooth loss.
But with the help of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, you can join the Monster-Free Mouths Movement and keep your child’s mouth free of creatures like Tartar the Terrible, Ginger Bite-Us and Tooth D.K. Below are important tips to help kids have monster-free mouths—at all ages!
Birth – 2 Years Old:
- Before teeth erupt, clean your baby’s mouth and gums with a soft cloth or infant toothbrush at bath time. This helps prepare your baby for the teeth cleaning to come.
- If your baby is given a bottle when going sleep, use only water. Bottles containing any sugary liquids carbohydrates such as milk, formula or put teeth under attack from juice, fruit or bacterial acid all night long.
- Take your child to see a pediatric dentist his or her first birthday to establish a dental home. Your dentist can help you a daily regimen, provide, establish and determine recommendations your next visit.
2 – 5 Years Old:
- Remember to brush your child’s teeth at least twice a day, once in the morning and once at night. The most important time to brush your child’s teeth is right before bedtime. Schedule dental visits every six months to keep away Mouth Monsters, especially the dreaded Tooth D.K. The routine teeth cleanings at regular check-ups help remove pests like Tartar the Terrible and Ginger Bite-Us.
- Talk to your child’s pediatric dentist about the right amount of fluoride for your child. Ask if your child should be brushing with toothpaste that contains fluoride and/or if your child needs a fluoride supplement.
- Parents should supervise the brushing of teeth for school-aged children until they are seven or eight years old.
- When teeth are touching, it is time to begin flossing. Ask your dentist for tips on flossing your child’s teeth.
Avoid carbonated beverages which on teeth; sports drinks enamel can erode and juice pouches are also bad for teeth as they keep acid levels high—which the Mouth Monsters like!