Especially if you’re a new parent, you may have difficulty figuring out how much dental care your child needs. You may also not know that childhood tooth decay is the #1 chronic childhood illness. It is five times more common than asthma and seven times more common than hay fever. It can lead to a host of more severe physical problems as well as developmental problems. Luckily, childhood cavities are preventable, especially if you start caring for your kid’s teeth early. Here are some tips on how to make sure your children grow up with healthy teeth.

  • Keep the sugary drinks out of the bottle, and when your child is 6-12 months old, use only formula in the bottles.
  • Don’t let your child use the bottle of juice or milk as a pacifier. If your child does use a pacifier, avoid dipping it in honey or sugar.
  • Shoot for weaning your child away from the bottle around 12 months.
  • Fruit juice has some redeeming qualities, but even the 100% juices have lots of natural sugar, so limit intake to 6 ounces per day.
  • As soon as the first teeth come in, it’s time to start brushing and flossing. For children aged 2 to 6, you put the toothpaste on the brush. Use only a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste.
  • If your baby is 6 months or older, use fluoridated water or a fluoride supplement if you have well water without fluoride. If you use bottled water, make sure it contains fluoride.
  • Your child’s diet and how often he eats is important in preventing a cavity. Sugar and starches promote the production of acids in the mouth, and a continual intake throughout the day means continual acid attacks throughout the day.

Great oral care habits and a healthy diet are the best way to ensure that your child grows up with healthy teeth. Healthy baby teeth are important for your child’s physical and psychological development. Also, regular visits to the dentist starting right around your child’s first birthday set the tone for a lifetime of tooth-friendly habits.