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Top 6 Kids’ Oral Health Facts

Good oral hygiene habits should begin even before the eruption of the first primary tooth! Developing strong oral hygiene habits early on can set your child up for a lifetime of beautiful, confident smiles.

Let’s dive into the top 6 kids’ oral health facts that not only make you appreciate the wonders of those tiny teeth but also empower you with knowledge to keep your little ones’ smiles bright and fresh. 

1. The 2-2-2 Rule Is A Simple Way To Keep Your Child’s Teeth Healthy.

This one is very important and applies to children and adults! Here’s what the 2-2-2 rule says:
  1. Children should visit a dentist twice per year.
  2. Children should brush and floss at least twice a day (alone, or with supervision depending on their age).
  3. Children should spend two whole minutes brushing and flossing daily.

2. Proper Oral Hygiene Should Begin Early, Even Before Baby Teeth Arrive.

Even before your baby starts teething, run a clean, damp washcloth over the gums to clear away harmful bacteria.After your baby is done feeding, be sure to remove the bottle to prevent baby bottle tooth decay. This can occur when a baby keeps the bottle in their mouth for too long or falls asleep with the bottle in their mouth, and bacteria starts to grow.

Once the baby teeth have started to emerge through the gums, use a soft-bristled toothbrush to brush the tooth (or teeth) twice a day. Apply a tiny amount of toothpaste, equivalent to about the size of a grain of rice. Learn more about dental care for infants!

3. A Child’s First Dental Visit Should Occur After Their First Tooth Erupts.

Dental checkups are encouraged within a baby’s first year. This may seem early, but beginning a prevention plan at this time can help avoid early-onset and future dental problems. Dr. Frank Sierra says, “This initial visit will establish a dental home for your child. Early examination and preventive care will protect your child’s smile now and in the future.”

4. Children Have A Set of 20 Milk Teeth!

Primary teeth are also called baby teeth. By age 3 years, there are usually 20 primary teeth. The first tooth eruption is usually between 4 and 15 months of age. If eruption of the first tooth has not occurred by 18 months, the child should be referred to a dentist for evaluation.

5. Bottles Should Only Contain Water During Bed Or Nap Time.

Bottles should only be used with formula, breast milk, or water. Fruit juices, sweet teas, formula, or milk should not be put in a baby’s bottle during bedtime or nap time. At these times, bottles should only contain water.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that parents should avoid fruit juice for children under one year of age: “Although juice consumption has some benefits, it also has potential detrimental effects. High sugar content in juice contributes to increased calorie consumption and the risk of dental caries.”

6. Prolonged Thumb Sucking Can Cause Problems.

Sucking is a normal baby reflex. It helps babies feel secure and happy and helps them learn about their world. Dr. Mark Dawoud adds, “Prolonged thumb sucking may cause problems with the proper growth of the mouth and the alignment of teeth. It also can cause changes in the roof of the mouth.” Children should be encouraged to discontinue their sucking habits by 4 years of age.

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If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Our experienced dentists and team are here to help guide you and your child. We offer kinder, gentler dentistry for kids and teens. It is our goal that your child develops and maintains a positive association with dental care and we do everything we can to create a pleasant, supportive, and fun environment for our little patients.