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How To Care For Your Child’s Teeth Like a Pro

Nov04

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Photo by gagilas

With Halloween just behind us you might have your kids’ sugar consumption and dental care at top of mind. We spoke to Oral-B Stages dental expert Dr. Jennifer Salzer who shared some surprising tips to help you keep your kids’ teeth in tip-top shape.

Guide to Everything Archives1) Don’t let your baby go to sleep with a baby bottle.
A whopping 15% of kids have baby bottle cavities, received after going to bed with a baby bottle.

2) Be aware that cookies can be worse for teeth than candy.
We know, a shocker! While most parents think candy is the worst thing they can give their children for their teeth, in actuality, any foods that contains sugar or carbohydrates that can be broken down by the bacteria in a child’s mouth can cause cavities. So, the cavity-causing problem can be foods like chips and crackers because they stay in kids’ mouths longer. Yikes.

3) Ditch the sippy cups.
A sippy cup invites the sugar to stay on the mouth longer. Choose an open cup instead as kids don’t suck on it and therefore it means less sugar on the lips.

4) Use fluoride wisely.
It’s recommended that children should start using fluoridated toothpaste when they turn two. At first, smear the toothpaste on the brush. Once your child can spit efficiently, then you can use a pea-sized amount. Also, you can protect your child’s teeth through a diet high in green leafy vegetables, which is a natural source of fluoride.

5) Look at the mirror.
The most important tool in oral health besides a toothbrush and toothpaste is a mirror. A child can remove a lot more plaque if looking and watching while brushing his teeth.

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Isabel Kallman

http://www.alphamom.com
Isabel Kallman is the founding mom of Alphamom.com.

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5 Responses to “How To Care For Your Child’s Teeth Like a Pro”

  1. Olivia Nov 04 at 8:16 am Reply Reply

    3)a) Don’t put sugary drinks in a sippy cup. Water is okay.
    _____________
    Editor: YES!

  2. Cheryl S. Nov 04 at 11:01 am Reply Reply

    What do you do about a kid who HATES any flavor of toothpaste? I still brush her teeth with just water, but she will not use toothpaste. I’ve tried every flavor and brand. We have floridated water where I live, is that enough? [She's 4, BTW]
    ————
    Editor: we’ll find out for you.

  3. gizella Nov 04 at 11:09 pm Reply Reply

    candy? for real? That’s a suggestion? I mean, what is the nutritional value of that? I’d much rather be more vigilant about brushing than have my kid eat crap. just saying
    ____
    Editor: that’s a very fair point. The perspective is taken from the view of a dentist, so I guess it’s in the vacuum or teeth. ;)
    More clarification, though we will be updating the post above to clarify the following:
    Regarding candy, Dr. Salzer does not believe giving candy to children is good/better for their teeth or health; rather, she was making a point that, while most parents think candy is the worst thing they can give their children for their teeth, in actuality, any foods that contains sugar or carbohydrates that can be broken down by the bacteria in a person’s (or child’s) mouth can cause cavities. So, the cavity-causing problem can be foods like chips and crackers because they stay in kids’ mouths longer.

  4. Anonymous Nov 04 at 11:30 pm Reply Reply

    This comment is from Dr. Jennifer Salzer in response to Cheryl S.
    _____________________________
    This is not uncommon. Kids can be very finicky! The best thing to do is use a very thin layer of paste on the brush (a smear) instead of a pea-sized amount and have a large, cold glass of water nearby. This way, the child won’t get a lot of flavor and they can rinse well right away! It’s best to use a paste a not just water at your child’s age. Additionally, the toothbrush, in addition to the paste, is equally important when teaching children proper tooth brushing habits. For example, some toothbrushes, like Oral-B Stages, are specially designed to address children’s dentition (formation of their teeth and jaw), dexterity (ability to handle a toothbrush) and development (emotional changes and interest) as they grow. -Jennifer Salzer, DDS

  5. gizella Nov 05 at 10:46 pm Reply Reply

    fair enough!

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