Tooth decay can start as soon as a tooth appears. The American Dental Association recommends that the first dental visit take place within six months after the first tooth appears, but no later than a child’s first birthday. Don’t wait for them to start school or until there’s a dental problem.
It is important to start oral hygiene during infancy. Clean your baby’s teeth as soon as they come in with a clean, soft cloth or baby’s toothbrush. Check your baby’s teeth. They should be all one color. If there are spots or stains on the baby teeth, see a dentist.
At about age 2 (or sooner if a dentist or pediatrician suggest it) parents should start putting fluoride toothpaste on your child’s toothbrush. Use only a pea-sized drop of toothpaste on a young child’s toothbrush.
Young children cannot get their teeth clean by themselves. Parents should help their young children brush. Some parents will purchase disclosing tablets for occasional use. They can be found on the oral health care aisle of most stores. It is a very small red tablet and is tasteless. When chewed and mixed with saliva, a disclosing tablet sticks to all surfaces of the teeth that still contain plaque. A simple second brushing will remove the unwanted red color and the plaque left behind. This helps children see the spots they missed and also helps parents monitor how well their child is brushing.
We attached a wonderful resource for parents today! The book list entitled “Sink Your Teeth Into A Good Book! Oral Health Books for Kids” is distributed by *The National Education Association.* It has dozens of children’s book about teeth, oral health, the tooth fairy and and visiting the dentist.. Grade and reading levels are included along with the many suggested titles. Have fun sharing these books with your children!