Halloween is tomorrow. It is our daughter, Elizabeth’s third Halloween and we had shielded her from candies for as long as we can. But with exposure to sugar everywhere she goes, here are 10 tips to keep your child’s teeth healthy throughout the year.
- Begin cleaning the baby’s mouth during the first few days after birth.
- After every feeding, wipe the baby’s gums with a clean gauze pad or wet washcloth. This removes plaque and food left behind that can harm erupting teeth.
- To clean your child’s teeth, sit on a sofa with the child’s head in your lap to be sure you can see into the child’s mouth easily.
- As your child grows and more teeth begin to appear, brush them gently with a child’s size toothbrush and water.
- Brush the teeth of children over age two with a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste. Be sure they spit out the toothpaste, rather than swallow it.
- Use floss as soon as the child has two teeth that touch.
- As your child’s first tooth appears, talk with Dr. Ann about scheduling the child’s first visit. It is a good idea to have the first dental visit within six months after the first tooth appears, but not later than the first birthday.
- Help your child start good eating habits. Try to limit between-meal snacks.
- If you child is thirsty or needs a snack, avoid cookies, candy or other sweets or sticky foods. Instead, offer water or healthy foods, such as fruit, carrot sticks or wheat crackers. For more information, check out www.choosemyplate.gov.