Baltimore County News
Cindy Kaiser, Administrator Dental Services
Baltimore County Department of Health
February is National Children’s Dental Health Month and the perfect time to remind parents and caregivers that it’s never too soon to start your child on their way to healthy teeth and gums. Not only can poor oral health cause mouth pain, your child’s baby teeth play an important role until their adult teeth emerge.
Did you know you can start caring for your infant’s mouth as soon as he or she is born? Following each feeding, gently wipe his or her gums with a clean, damp washcloth. Once a month, lift your baby’s lip to check out his or her gums. If you see brown or white spots along their gum line, it could be a sign of tooth decay and you should contact your baby’s dentist or health care provider.
Below are some additional tips for infants, toddlers, youths and their parents.
Tips for Infant Caregivers:
· Don’t share. Sharing spoons, cups, toothbrushes and utensils among family members spreads germs that cause cavities.
· Wash it. Parents should wash pacifiers with warm soap and water - not your mouth!
Tips for Toddlers:
· Get a dentist. Take your child to the dentist by his or her first birthday.
· Brush. Between one to two years of age, begin brushing with a soft child’s toothbrush two times a day for two minutes each.
· Less is best. Use fluoride toothpaste. Under age two, a smear is best; between two to six years, a pea-size drop will suffice.
· Floss. As soon as two teeth come in next to one another, start flossing.
· Eat and drink right. Prevent tooth decay by avoiding sugary snacks and drinks. Provide your children with fruits, vegetables and plenty of water to drink.
· Twice is nice. Children and adults should visit a dentist twice a year.
If you haven’t already scheduled your child’s next dental appointment, be sure and do so now. Get your child off to a shining smile.