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Top nine tips for children’s oral health

Holloman Air Force Base, N.M. --

February is Children’s Dental Health month. The following nine recommendations will keep your children in peak oral health by teaching them the ins and outs of keeping those pearly whites in shape.

1. Establish a dental-friendly home early.  When your little one’s teeth erupt, take them to the dentist to kick start a positive relationship between your dentist and children.  This will help avoid fear of the dentist and future temper tantrums.

2. Wipe your child’s gums after feeding.  Brush their teeth with a small amount of fluoride toothpaste (as small as a grain of rice) with a soft toothbrush.  From ages three to six, use a pea size amount of fluoride toothpaste.

3. If an accident causes a tooth to be knocked out, try to find the tooth and save it.  Baby teeth don’t need to be saved because they will not survive when placed back into the mouth.  However, adult permanent teeth can often survive when placed back into the mouth.  Permanent teeth will have a long visible root.  Pick it up by the crown of the tooth, not the root. Save it in milk, never water, and get to a dentist as soon as possible. The shorter the time between the accident and getting to a dentist, the better the chances are at saving that tooth!

4. Help or supervise your kids brush their teeth until the age of six.  Make sure they are spitting out all of the toothpaste and reaching each surface of every tooth.

5. Don’t put your child’s spoon or pacifier in your mouth.  This will prevent transferring germs and bacteria.

6. Don’t put juice or soft drinks in a baby’s bottle. The sugar and acid will rapidly cause cavities.

7. Don’t dip a child’s pacifier in anything sweet. Again, the sugar and acid will rapidly cause cavities.

8. Holloman’s water is fluoridated, which strengthens our teeth. If kids drink bottled water only, it is not fluoridated and they are missing out on some extra protection for their teeth.

9. The best way to prevent dental emergencies is to have regular six month checkups with your dentist.  Trouble spots can be spotted and treated early and prevent potential future traumatic experiences at the dentist.