Let's Talk About Baby Teeth

Each February emphasis is placed on raising awareness about the importance of oral health in children. Often the common misconception is that children do not need to worry about their oral health as they are just going to lose their baby teeth anyway. Au Contraire! Children's oral health impacts their overall health and development. Children need their baby teeth because they help them to smile, to eat/chew food, and to speak. Baby teeth also help to hold a space in the jaw for permanent teeth growing under the gums. If a baby tooth is lost too early, the permanent teeth can move into that empty space and make it difficult for the other adult teeth to find a spot. To give baby teeth their best care possible, here are some recommendations:

1. Brush twice daily with a fluoride toothpaste (only the size of a grain of rice for under 3 years, a pea size for ages 3-6 years)
2. If your child has two teeth that touch, begin flossing
3. Drink mainly water and milk
4. Limit juice to 4-6 ounces PER DAY (That's no more than 3/4 cup)
5. Do NOT put child to bed with a drink/bottle
6. Limit sugary treats
7. Encourage eating of healthy foods and vegetables
8. Begin bringing children to the dentist no later than their first birthday

For more information visit: www.mouthhealthykids.org