Brushing you baby’s erupted teeth gently with a small, soft-bristled toothbrush using a pea-sized amount of fluoridated toothpaste
Why Good Dental Health is Important
Innumerable studies and research have concluded on the importance of starting children early in their lives with good dental hygiene and oral care. According to research, the most common chronic childhood disease in America is tooth decay, affecting 50 percent of first graders and 80 percent of 17-year olds. Early treatment prevents problems affecting a child’s health, well-being, self-image and overall achievement.
The National Institute of Dental & Craniofacial Research estimates that children will miss 52 million hours of school each year due to oral health problems and about 12.5 million days of restricted activity every year from dental symptoms. Because there is such a significant loss in their academic performance, the Surgeon General has made children’s oral health a priority.
Parents are responsible for ensuring their children practice good dental hygiene. Parents should introduce proper oral care early in a child lives—as early as infancy. The American Dental Hygiene Association states that a good oral hygiene routine for children includes:
Thoroughly cleaning your infant’s gums after each feeding with a water-soaked infant cloth. This stimulates the gum tissue and removes food.
Teaching your child at age two or three about proper brushing techniques and later teaching them brushing and gentle flossing until seven or eight years old
Regular visits with their dentist to check for cavities in the primary teeth and for possible developmental problems
Asking your hygienist or dentist about sealant applications to protect your child’s teeth-chewing surfaces, and about bottle tooth decay, which occurs when teeth are frequently exposed to sugared liquids