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Three things keep child’s teeth

What can you do to make sure your child’s teeth and gums will be healthy throughout his lifetime? Here are three things you can do now:


Even though baby teeth will eventually fall out, it’s important to take care of them now. Baby teeth hold the place for permanent teeth, are important for speech development, and allow your child to chew nutritious food. Plus, infected baby teeth can cause tooth decay in permanent teeth.


“The earlier you can start an oral health practice, the more it becomes just part of the daily health routine,” said Fern Ingber, founding president and CEO of the National Children’s Oral Health Foundation: America's ToothFairy / Canada's ToothFairy and community advocate for underserved women and children.


Starting at birth, wipe your baby’s gums with a damp washcloth after feedings. If your baby has teeth, brush at least twice a day in the morning and at bedtime, if not more frequently. If your baby uses a pacifier, clean it in warm, soapy water – not your mouth.


Experts agree children aren’t able to brush their teeth properly until they are 8 years old, so make supervised brushing a habit. What’s more, studies show that when parents have their own healthy habits, children are more likely to follow suit. So let your child watch you brush and floss or bring him with you to the dentist. “Let them know it’s a positive time,” Ingber said.


If good oral hygiene is an enjoyable experience for your child, he or she is more likely to want to do it. “You want to make this a fun, engaging time where they’re really showing off their smile and their teeth,” said Ingber, who suggests singing songs as you brush or letting your toddler take turns with the toothbrush. You can also create a brushing chart to show off at the next dentist visit.

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