I’m a little behind since February National Children’s Dental Health Month sponsored by the American Dental Association (ADA) to raise awareness about the importance of oral health, but teaching good dental habits is a 365 day job for moms and dads.
Developing good habits at an early age and scheduling regular dental visits helps children get a good start on a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums. Here are a few handy tips on cleaning your child’s teeth from the ADA’s Mouth Healthy Website This site is a great reference for common baby teeth questions for parents.
- Begin cleaning your baby’s mouth during the first few days after birth by wiping the gums with a clean, moist gauze pad or washcloth. As soon as teeth appear, decay can occur. A baby’s front four teeth usually push through the gums at about 6 months of age, although some children don’t have their first tooth until 12 or 14 months.
- For children younger than 3 years, caregivers should begin brushing children’s teeth as soon as they begin to come into the mouth by using fluoride toothpaste in an amount no more than a smear or the size of a grain of rice. Brush teeth thoroughly twice per day (morning and night) or as directed by a dentist or physician. Supervise children’s brushing to ensure that they use of the appropriate amount of toothpaste.
- For children 3 to 6 years of age, caregivers should dispense no more than a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste. Brush teeth thoroughly twice per day (morning and night) or as directed by a dentist or physician. Supervise children’s brushing to minimize swallowing of toothpaste.
- Until you’re comfortable that your child can brush on his or her own, continue to brush your child’s teeth twice a day with a child-size toothbrush and a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste. When your child has two teeth that touch, you should begin flossing their teeth daily.
To excite your little ones to brush and floss everyday Jim Henson’s Dinosaur Train characters are being featured on GUM® twin pack toothbrush set. Available on amazon.com, ToysRUs.com and at gumbrand.com. SRP: $2.99.
Also check out , the Little Golden Book Buddy’s Teeth to get the dental health conversations flowing!