Tips to care for your kid's teeth

It's never too early to start caring for your kid's teeth. whether you have an infant or a young child, Good dental habits go a long way.

Every child should see the dentist for regular checkups twice a year. the first checkup should happen by the age of one.

"It gives the dentist an opportunity to reinforce oral hygiene, checkup how the child's doing, find out if there are any problems early and really get an opportunity to get some preventive work, cleaning, a fluoride varnish, and a sealant," says Dr. Brooks Woodward, the dental director at Chase Brexton Health Services.

He says it's important for parents to starting brushing their baby's gums even before the first tooth appears to clear away harmful bacteria.

"Sometimes you can use a cloth, a wash cloth with just a smear of toothpaste on it to brush their gums with your finger," says Woodward.

Teach your kids to brush their teeth for at least two minutes twice a day. "If you can get them to sing the ABC song in their head while they're brushing generally that's going to be enough time to get through everything."   

And what your kid eats is just as important. A healthy diet low in sugar will help prevent cavities.

"Sugar is primarily the food for bacteria to eat and produce waste and that waste by product is an acid that causes a cavity in the tooth… a cavity in a baby tooth hurts just as bad as a cavity in an adult tooth. It can get just as infected and it can cause just as many problems," says Woodward.

And don't forget to replace your child's toothbrush at least every 6 months. The size of the toothbrush also matters. Make sure it's small enough with soft bristles so it can fit in the child's mouth.

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