A healthy smile is a good indication of a happy child ! Here are some children’s

oral health tips that if adhered too, will help prevent any child from suffering the

unnecessary embarrassment and pain of tooth decay. Start early!

When that first tooth erupts, approximately at 6 months of age, clean the tooth with

a damp cloth.

As more teeth erupt into place, use a very soft child’s tooth brush.

Placing the tooth brush in hot tap water will make the brush bristles even softer.

Beware Of The Baby Bottle Tooth Decay Syndrome !

The “Baby Bottle Tooth Decay Syndrome”. is alive and well. Baby bottle tooth
decay occurs when a baby’s teeth come into frequent contact with sugars from liquid
carbohydrates such as fruit juices, milk, formula, sugar water or any other sweet
drink substitute. Even human breast milk  has been known to cause tooth decay .

As these liquids break down into simple sugars in the oral cavity, the bacteria in
the mouth break down these sugars into acids that subsequently cause tooth decay.

If untreated, decayed teeth cause pain, are unsightly, and make eating and chewing
difficult.  Why would any responsible parent want to contribute to their infant child’s
poor oral health status.? If baby teeth are damaged  and lost prematurely, they will
not be present to help guide the later developing permanent teeth into place.

YES ! Baby teeth will be replaced later on however they MUST be kept healthy to

compliment the baby’s overall general health and well being!

Naturally the baby may not like you cleaning their teeth with a face cloth or anything
else,  but you must do it. Even if you only spend a few moments at it.

When a child is around two years of age, all of their 20 baby teeth should be present.

You may want to start using a little toothpaste at this time.  Most young children at this

age may no tlet you do this procedure. They may just want to do it themselves. Let them

try it. We know they will not be able to a thorough or adequate job but teaching them

to do so is much more important than the final results. Hopefully, they  will eventually
co-operate and let you help them brush their teeth.

One way to give them the idea is to brush your teeth first in front of them. Tell
them why you brush your  teeth and ask them if you can show them and help them
brush their teeth. If you get too much resistance, you have to take charge.

You are the “Boss”. I’m not saying you have to be aggressive, but you must be assertive
and determined.

When you begin using a tooth paste ,make sure it has fluoride in it. Children at
an early age have a tendancy to swallow the tooth paste so be sure not to give
hem too much. A  small pea sized portion of tooth paste is adequate. Fluoride is
very important in fighting tooth decay. Have the child spit out the toothpaste
and then follow with a mouth-rinse of water. I don’t believe a child is capable of
brushing their teeth properly, until they have the dexterity to tie their own shoes.
The same goes for flossing of the teeth as well if not more so.

That said , there brushing techniques should be supervised until they are nine or
ten years old and beyond. You can serve as a good role model by practicing good oral
health care habits and  schedule regular dental visits for checkups and cleaning
appointments when necessary.

You know, I’ve been telling you how to look after your children’s teeth to prevent
costly tooth decay but the best way  to prevent tooth decay, is to prevent your child
from consuming too much sugar in any shape or form.

We know all children love candy in any way  they can get it. Eating the candy may not

be an issue if they have good home care brushing and flossing habits. But because most

children do not have these good habits at an early age, you must reduce the amount of

sugar they consume in their daily diet…  Makes sense , correct ?

It is imperative to note that not all sources of sugar come in the form of candy per
say. There are what I call many forms of “HIDDEN SUGARS “. For example, there is sugar
in many pops and fruit- like beverages that children love to drink.

There is sugar in cookies, ketchup, breakfast cereals and chewing gum, bubble gum and

cake icings.  As a matter of fact, there are more hidden sugars in breakfast cereals than in

any other source of food that I can think of.

The sugar-coated breakfast cereals are absolute dynamite on children’s teeth. If I
had my way, they would be banned from the grocery store shelves. Children love these types
of cereals because they are sweet .

But a combination of milk and these cereals followed by poor brushing and flossing habits, is

a dental disaster waiting to happen. Even eating these types of cereals in the dry form are not

much better. They become very tenacious to the teeth and create quite a challenge for a child to

clean adequately. The worst thing you could ever do is give your children milk and cereal before

bedtime and not make or help them clean their teeth thoroughly.

One thing I never allowed my three children to eat was any hard candy in the form of
suckers, lifesavers, lollipops, toffee, jawbreakers,  you name it. I did however permit them to
eat any form of candy that  could be chewed  and swallow in a short period of time. Hard
candies take a long time to consume and consequently have serious consequences on the rate
of decay in the mouth.

CHRONIC drinking of Soda pops, and other high sugar content fruit drinks,
should be avoided at all costs !

To this day, my two older boys have had no cavities and neither one of them have a desire
to eat sweets on a regular basis. My third child, a daughter, did develop a sweet tooth
and had one or two small cavities when she was 7 or 8 years old.

Some More Useful Oral Health Tips For Children that really work.

Sit your kids down once a week or once a month and let them eat all of the soft candy

they want. Believe me they will get tired of it. After they have finished eating all they

want, ask them to go brush their teeth thoroughly and wait until the next time they

want another good feed.

Man is a creature of habit. Why not instill some of the good habits instead of the bad
habits. It takes the same amount of effort but the final outcome can be quite different
and beneficial.


Here are some tips to help prevent ” Baby  Bottle Tooth Decay.”

* To calm a baby during the daytime, give them a bottle of  water or a pacifier,
instead of  milk or juice.

* NEVER ! NEVER dip the pacifier into a jar of honey or other sugary liquid.

* At bedtime, DON’T EVER put your baby to sleep with a bottle of sugary liquids,
watered down fruit juices (apple juice) or milk.  Give them plain water instead.

* Don’t ever allow your baby to feed continuously throughout the night while sleeping.
Use a  pacifier instead.

* Don’t ever add sugar to your baby’s food !

* Use a wet cloth to wipe your baby’s teeth after their feeding.

* Ask your dentist about your baby’s fluoride requirements.

* Teach your baby to drink from a cup by his or her first birthday.

Granted these tips take some effort and perseverance on your part,   but believe me,
it will be worth it and you can literally save hundreds , if not thousands of dollars
worth of dental treatment over the formative years of your child’s life.

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