tips for taking care of tiny teeth

Do you know how to take care of your child’s teeth?

I had no idea with my first child.  I even hesitated taking my young children to the dentist. I had nightmares of them refusing to open their mouths, biting the hygienist’s hands, running into the waiting room screaming, or worse…

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(Lyla was a little nervous)

  Thank goodness my best friend is a hygienist and my brother-in-law is a dentist.  Whenever I have questions I can go straight to them.  I don’t think we realize how important oral health habits are in our daily lives, and how important it is to get our children started at a young age.  My older children love going to the dentist, but my 3 year old is still at the age where you just never know what to expect.  I have learned with each of my children that if I trust the dentist or hygienist, my children will also.

Did You Know?

-A child’s first dental visit is recommended by his or her first birthday. This allows your child to be screened for risk factors that could contribute to early cavities, and gives your child the best chance of avoiding dental disease in the future.

-The most common chronic childhood disease in America is tooth decay. It affects 50% of first graders and 80% of 17 year olds.

-Children’s teeth start forming before birth. As early as 4 months of age, the primary baby teeth push through the gums.

-A baby bottle containing anything other than water and left in the infant’s mouth while sleeping can cause tooth decay. This happens because sugar in the liquid mixes with bacteria in dental plaque, forming acids that attack the tooth enamel.

-Fluoride is a substance that helps teeth become stronger and resistant to decay. Brushing and flossing regularly ensures significantly lower cavities.

What to expect on your child’s first cleaning

(3 years of age or older)

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The first cleaning visit should be a “happy visit”.  They get to sit in the chair and check out all the equipment until they are comfortable.

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The next step is to check for soft spots (also known as decay) with a tool called “the explorer.”  Libby was counting Lyla’s teeth and talking to her to make her feel at ease.  After checking for decay she looks for any calculus (hardened plaque that can no longer be removed with floss or by brushing teeth) and removes it with instruments.

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If there is no tartar build up it’s time to polish the teeth.  The polish is designed to remove loose plaque and light staining.  After polishing,  rinse with water and suction.  Dentists recommend  fluoride as the last step.  The application of the fluoride will vary depending on whether  the parent and child want the treatment.

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Not so nervous anymore.

The free bag of dental goodies at the end of the visit is always the best!

Tooth Care for Ages 4 Months-7 Years

 4-24 Months

-Once baby teeth come in, brush their teeth 2 times a day with water and a soft bristle toothbrush. (I’ve seen these at Babies Are Us and Target)

-Schedule the first dental check-up before his or her first birthday

2-4 Years

-Brush 2 times a day for 2 minutes

-Teach your child not to swallow the toothpaste, use a small amount to prevent cavities

-Schedule regular dental check ups every 6 months

5-7 Years

-Brush teeth morning and night for 2 minutes

-Begin flossing as soon as 2 teeth touch

-Use a child safe fluoride toothpaste for cavity protection

Make brushing and flossing fun and easy

In order to help your children with daily brushing Heather from CHICKABUG created these adorable Teeth Care Charts for boys and girls.

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 Print your own Teeth Care Chart here.

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 You can even laminate them and re-use them with dry erase markers. My kids love to pick out new tooth brushes so I told them when their chart is full, I will take them and buy them a new one.  I just make sure they pick out a child size and that it has soft bristles.  It is recommended to change out your child’s toothbrush every 3 months.

It is important to set a good example for your children by brushing your teeth at the same time as they do and eating healthy with them on a daily basis. After your child has taken a turn brushing make sure you go over their teeth one more time.

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-Kids get calcium from yogurt, milk,cheese and dark leafy greens.  This helps store calcium.  Calcium is a natural ingredient in tooth enamel which decreases with age, so eating well as a child is essential.

-Timing is everything.  According to Family Food,  it’s better to drink juice or soda with lunch than to sip it all afternoon.  Eating snacks and meals at regular times can also help keep kids teeth healthy.

-If you give your children juice dilute it with water.  Give kids milk or water to drink instead of soda, juice, or other sweetened drinks.

I know by the end of the day we are all tired and it is really easy to forget about brushing our children’s teeth. Just remember it only takes 2 minutes and something that fast and easy can benefit your child’s health for the rest of their life. It can also prevent more costly and painful dental procedures later on.

What’s your child’s oral health care routine?

Ash Sig

A special thanks to

Heather at CHICKABUG

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tips for taking care of tiny teeth

Ashley was born and raised in Boise, Idaho and now lives in Henderson, Nevada.  She studied in Germany and created a hand knit hat business in 1998–Mutze by Ashley (meaning hat in German).  She is obsessed with her Husband, three daughters, fashion, coconut desserts, and garden gnomes.

Read all of Ashley’s posts

    1. May 24th, 2013 at 11:34 am
      mikey says:
      Great idea! Can adults use this? Weird or no?
      • May 29th, 2013 at 4:45 pm
        Ashley says:
        No, not weird at all. It's for adults too. Enjoy.
    2. May 24th, 2013 at 12:02 pm
      Libby says:
      This is such a great article. I am loving the tooth chart. Can't wait to print it up and start using it for my kids.
    3. May 24th, 2013 at 1:21 pm
      Libby says:
      Great article! Well researched. You always have such great posts. I love the tooth brushing chart. I can't wait to print a few out for my kids. Thank you!
    4. May 24th, 2013 at 3:50 pm
      Laura says:
      Great article! I love the print out and am excited to use it. My kids love to check things off, so it's a great motivator!
    5. May 24th, 2013 at 7:53 pm
      Brent says:
      Thanks for the printable charts this will make my life easier.
    6. May 25th, 2013 at 6:05 pm
      L says:
      Aqua Fresh Toothpaste has an app for iPad and iPhone that sings a song about brushing your teeth for 2 minutes, my girls (2 and 4) love it. There is no more crying about 2 minutes of brushing now.
      • May 29th, 2013 at 4:48 pm
        Ashley says:
        Great idea! Thanks for the tip. I'm going to get that app ASAP.
    7. May 27th, 2013 at 5:45 pm
      Papino says:
      Loved it! What a darling model--both patient and hygienist. Don't forget sealants--just as soon as their permanent teeth come in, get those sealants on. It is so worth it--no cavities! Great Post! Thanks for all the good info.
    8. May 28th, 2013 at 12:02 pm
      Rachel says:
      I remember being pleasantly surprised by how well behaved my daughter was on her first dental exam. I was expecting the worst, just like you mentioned.
    9. May 30th, 2013 at 8:41 pm
      Rosemary Rivas says:
      Thanks for the great information. It would be helpful to also have a diagram of teeth in the mouth for those who are loosing their teeth so they can keep track of their teeth! A good follow-up for older children would be about the orthodontist.
    10. May 31st, 2013 at 8:56 am
      Holly says:
      why can I not find where to print this?
      • June 4th, 2013 at 9:20 pm
        Ashley's says:
        It's in between the charts in my post. It says print your chart here. Click here and you can print them. Let me know if you have any problems. Enjoy!
    11. June 12th, 2013 at 5:14 pm
      dental care tips says:
      Hello! I know this is somewhat off topic but I was wondering which blog platform are you
      using for this site? I'm getting sick and tired of Wordpress because I've had issues with hackers and I'm looking at alternatives for another platform. I would be great if you could point me in the direction of a good platform.
    12. September 2nd, 2013 at 6:18 am
      Ben Aghabeigi Birmingham says:
      Thanks for sharing these best tips for care you teeth . children should also be taught on flossing. This is an essential part of oral hygiene because it prevents one from gum diseases, halitosis, and dental caries.
    13. September 14th, 2014 at 10:07 am
      gia says:
      I can't seem to find the download link, and I would really like to print this for my sister. I already subscribed and all, :D
      • September 15th, 2014 at 9:57 am
        Katie says:
        Check your email soon, more info will be coming!
    14. May 11th, 2015 at 7:11 am
      Park Ridge Dental Office says:
      Love the idea of the printables. Such a great idea.
    15. September 10th, 2015 at 8:33 pm
      raych says:
      Great idea! Can't wait to print it out & use it for my pedo patients! Thanks ?
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