Did you know that your child’s oral care starts even before their first tooth comes in? Healthy primary (or baby) teeth are essential for healthy adult teeth and the prevention of oral health problems later in life. Fortunately, parents can play a vital role in caring for their child’s mouth and developing good oral care habits.
Help keep your child’s mouth healthy with these top tips recommended by the Ontario Dental Hygienists’ Association:
- For infants: Clean and massage gums with a washcloth or gauze after feeding. Avoid fruit punches and other sweetened drinks in baby bottles, especially before bed. Don’t use sweetened pacifiers and never clean them by putting them in your mouth as bacteria can spread. Check for decay by lifting the baby’s top lip. If there are any white or brown spots, contact your dental professional.
- For toddlers: Begin regular dental hygiene visits by age one. As soon as teeth appear, brush twice a day using a small soft-bristled toothbrush with water or fluoride-free toothpaste. Use only a pea-size (or smaller) amount. Incorporate toothpaste with fluoride once the child can rinse and spit properly.
- For all ages: Rinse a child’s mouth after giving any medication. Supervise your child’s oral care until age 10. Practice what you preach by being a good role model for your children. Keep your own teeth and gums healthy.
Find more tips and information at www.odha.on.ca.
Attention editors: This article is for distribution in Ontario only.