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How to care for your child’s mouth

    1. Clean
      • Clean your baby’s gums before teeth come in with a clean, soft cloth after feedings and before bedtime.
      • As your baby’s teeth come in, brush them with a child’s toothbrush and a smear of fluoride toothpaste twice a day, every day, especially before bed.
      • Fluoride protects teeth from tooth decay. It can even heal early decay.
      • Young children cannot get their teeth clean by themselves; you will need to help them brush until they are about 6 to 8 years old.
    2. Visit Your Dentist
      • First visit by first birthday – whether teeth have appeared or not.
      • Take your child to the dentist every six months.
      • Choose a pediatric or general dentist as the “dental home” for your family in a private practice or public health program.
      • Information on dental health coverage.
    3. No Bottle in Bed & No Sippy Cup
      • Do not lay your baby down with a bottle at nap or night time.
      • Milk, formula, juice, and other drinks all have sugar in them.  If sugary liquids stay on your baby’s teeth too long, either with a bottle in bed or when using a sippy cup, it can lead to painful tooth decay.
    4. Give Milk or Water
      • Give your child milk or water; do not give sugary drinks, such as soda, juices with sugar or punch.
      • The sugar from soda, juices with sugar or punch stays on your child’s teeth and can cause cavities.
      • If you want to give your child 100% fruit juice, only give 4 ounces per day served in an open cup and have your child drink it in one sitting.
      • Drink tap water if your community or household water has fluoride in it. Fluoridated water has lifelong benefits in reducing tooth decay.
    5. Do Not Share Food, Spoons, or Forks
      • If you put food or eating utensils in your mouth, do not put them in your child’s mouth to avoid spreading germs that can cause cavities.
Here are some other things you can do:
    • Tips for keeping you child’s teeth healthy on Halloween.
      Dentist’s do not advocate eating sugary treats, but with Halloween right around the corner, The American Academy of  General Dentistry wants parents to know that there are both good and bad candy options, both of which may find their way into children’s trick or treat bags this fall.  InfoBites Article
    • Between feedings, don’t give your baby a bottle or sippy cup filled with sugary drinks.
    • Near your child’s first birthday, teach him/her to drink from an open cup.
    • If your baby uses a pacifier, do not dip it in anything sweet like sugar or honey. Do no clean the pacifier with your mouth to avoid spreading germs that can cause cavities.
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