According to the Center for Pediatric Dentistry, “An estimated 28 percent of all U.S. toddlers and preschoolers are affected by Early Childhood Caries (ECC), which is the appearance of tooth decay in young children. Tooth decay is the most common chronic childhood disease — five times more common than asthma. More than 51 million school hours are lost every year to dental-related issues, and in the long term, dental disease can be associated with serious illnesses including heart disease and stroke.”
Here are 7 things you can do to keep your baby’s mouth healthy:
- Start brushing your baby’s mouth with a soft toothbrush as soon as the first tooth arrives
- When your baby turns two, start using a small amount of fluoridated toothpaste, the size of a grain of rice.
- Reduce snacking on sugary, starchy or sticky foods and eliminate sweet liquids throughout the day
- Choose healthy snacks instead (cheese, fruit, vegetables)
- If you put your baby to bed with a bottle, fill it with water (no milk)
- Your dentist or physician can answer questions about fluoride varnish, used to prevent tooth decay.
- See your dentist or pediatric dental specialist early. The key to long-term oral health is prevention.
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