A Healthy Mouth Right From the Start

first_imgFacebook42Tweet0Pin0Submitted by Thurston County Health & Public ServicesNew parents are often on the lookout for ways to keep their new little one safe and healthy. It might be learning about an app for their phone to keep important information at their fingertips, or understanding which are the best car seats, and how to securely fasten them into the safest place in their car. They may be looking up the recommended way for their baby to sleep to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), or exploring the best way to feed their little pumpkin to keep baby happy and growing well. Many new parents, however, may not realize why keeping a baby’s mouth healthy is such an important part of a child’s overall health, or how to keep their child’s first teeth growing strong and healthy.A baby’s first tooth will usually emerge between 6-12 months of age. Most parents recognize the signs of teething long before that first tooth erupts; their little one drools, chews on everything and may be very cranky. Those first 20 teeth will all be in place around the little one’s third birthday. Baby teeth are important because they:Help a child chew nutritious food to grow strongAllow for correct speech and pronunciation of wordsEnsure proper placement in the gums of adult teeth laterBaby teeth need to be protected and well cared for until they are ready to come out around the age of six. Cavities can occur in baby teeth and be painful. They may make it difficult for children to eat, sleep and learn. Baby teeth also need to be protected because cavities in baby teeth can spread to adult teeth.Children should have an oral health screening by age one.To find a dentist for your child or yourself visit www.TheMightyMouth.org/schedule, and to get more information on good oral health, be sure to visit the American Dental Association’s website: www.mouthhealthy.org.Caring for baby teeth is simple. Even before there are signs of that first tooth, a daily routine of wiping baby’s gums with a wet washcloth is all that’s needed to remove bacteria and will begin to set the stage for a lifetime of good oral healthcare. Once baby’s teeth begin to come in, a soft toothbrush with a rice-sized dab of fluoride toothpaste can be used to gently brush them twice a day. Around age 3, that daily bit of fluoride toothpaste should be about the size of a pea. Parents should help their child brush their teeth until they can tie their own shoes, and remind them to spit out any excess toothpaste instead of swallowing it.One danger to baby teeth is sometimes called Baby Bottle Mouth—the decay of a child’s front teeth. The most common contributor to Baby Bottle Mouth is prolonged exposure to sugary drinks. Even if a little one isn’t downing bottles of sugar-sweetened sodas, liquids that baby drinks may have added or natural sugar. These sugars, which are found in formula, milk, and juice, feed the bacteria in a baby’s mouth and can lead to cavities. Putting a baby to bed with a bottle is a particularly troublesome habit that can bathe the teeth in sugar and bring on Baby Bottle Mouth. If a child needs a bottle to fall asleep, it should contain water only. Breastfeeding offers many health benefits for a little one, but even breastmilk contains sugar that can cause tooth decay. So, no matter how a baby is fed, starting a healthy habit of dental care is very important.The Thurston County Public Health & Social Services Department participates in the Thurston County Local Impact Network. The Network is working toward a common goal of improving health by reducing oral health disparities. You can learn more at https://crhn.org/pages/thurston-county-local-impact-network-lin/last_img

first_imgFacebook42Tweet0Pin0Submitted by Thurston County Health & Public ServicesNew parents are often on the lookout for ways to keep their new little one safe and healthy. It might be learning about an app for their phone to keep important information at their fingertips, or understanding which are the best car seats, and how to securely fasten them into the safest place in their car. They may be looking up the recommended way for their baby to sleep to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), or exploring the best way to feed their little pumpkin to keep baby happy and growing well. Many new parents, however, may not realize why keeping a baby’s mouth healthy is such an important part of a child’s overall health, or how to keep their child’s first teeth growing strong and healthy.A baby’s first tooth will usually emerge between 6-12 months of age. Most parents recognize the signs of teething long before that first tooth erupts; their little one drools, chews on everything and may be very cranky. Those first 20 teeth will all be in place around the little one’s third birthday. Baby teeth are important because they:Help a child chew nutritious food to grow strongAllow for correct speech and pronunciation of wordsEnsure proper placement in the gums of adult teeth laterBaby teeth need to be protected and well cared for until they are ready to come out around the age of six. Cavities can occur in baby teeth and be painful. They may make it difficult for children to eat, sleep and learn. Baby teeth also need to be protected because cavities in baby teeth can spread to adult teeth.Children should have an oral health screening by age one.To find a dentist for your child or yourself visit www.TheMightyMouth.org/schedule, and to get more information on good oral health, be sure to visit the American Dental Association’s website: www.mouthhealthy.org.Caring for baby teeth is simple. Even before there are signs of that first tooth, a daily routine of wiping baby’s gums with a wet washcloth is all that’s needed to remove bacteria and will begin to set the stage for a lifetime of good oral healthcare. Once baby’s teeth begin to come in, a soft toothbrush with a rice-sized dab of fluoride toothpaste can be used to gently brush them twice a day. Around age 3, that daily bit of fluoride toothpaste should be about the size of a pea. Parents should help their child brush their teeth until they can tie their own shoes, and remind them to spit out any excess toothpaste instead of swallowing it.One danger to baby teeth is sometimes called Baby Bottle Mouth—the decay of a child’s front teeth. The most common contributor to Baby Bottle Mouth is prolonged exposure to sugary drinks. Even if a little one isn’t downing bottles of sugar-sweetened sodas, liquids that baby drinks may have added or natural sugar. These sugars, which are found in formula, milk, and juice, feed the bacteria in a baby’s mouth and can lead to cavities. Putting a baby to bed with a bottle is a particularly troublesome habit that can bathe the teeth in sugar and bring on Baby Bottle Mouth. If a child needs a bottle to fall asleep, it should contain water only. Breastfeeding offers many health benefits for a little one, but even breastmilk contains sugar that can cause tooth decay. So, no matter how a baby is fed, starting a healthy habit of dental care is very important.The Thurston County Public Health & Social Services Department participates in the Thurston County Local Impact Network. The Network is working toward a common goal of improving health by reducing oral health disparities. You can learn more at https://crhn.org/pages/thurston-county-local-impact-network-lin/last_img

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