Top 5 Tips for Your baby/child's healthy teeth

We had a visit last week from our friends from Dr Yabut Smile and we learnt a lot of great tips to keep your little one's mouths healthy.

Tooth decay can be a huge problem,

* 42% of children aged 2 to 11 develop a cavity in their primary teeth

* Nearly 28% of 2 to 5 year olds develop at least one cavity

* Can be transmitted by sharing a spoon or licking a pacifier

It is preventable in almost all cases. Some things that can case tooth decay are

* Inadequate brushing and flossing

* Letting a child go to bed with a bottle of milk or juice

* Allowing a child to sleep immediately after feeding breastmilk, formula or milk without first cleaning their gums and teeth

* Eating a lot of citrus fruits can weaken the enamel of teeth

* Unhealthy eating habits, such as allowing a child to eat a lot of sugary foods or suck on a hard piece of candy

Here are the top 5 Tips to keep your baby or child's mouth healthy!

1. Avoid sugar (Know your intake)

Sounds simple enough, but there is hidden sugars in almost everything these days. uSugar is a carbohydrate that provides energy to the body. There are no other nutritional benefits. •The World Health Organization recommends no more than 5-10% of daily caloric intake to be sugar •In children, this means no more than 22 grams of sugar, or 5.5 teaspoons per day, but one juice box has 2.5 teaspoons in one drink. I know my kids love sugar, but just being aware how much they are taking in is important.

2. Drink it up

They say “Sip all day, get decay!” -if you child does want a little juice (we all know water is best), but once in a while it is okay it is best to drink the juice all in one sitting instead of having it in a cup they drink out of all day. Sugary drinks are a major source of tooth decay, as the sugars in pop combine with the bacteria in your mouth to form an acid that eats away at the enamel of your teeth. It takes your mouth 20 minutes to produce the salvia to get rid of the sugars so every sip you need to wait another 20 minutes. Water is just easier.

3. Bottles and Bed do not mix

Nursing Bottle Syndrome or Baby Bottle Syndrome is the term for rapid tooth decay caused by using a baby bottle filled with milk or juice as a sleep aid. When a child falls asleep with a bottle of milk or juice, the liquid pools behind the front teeth and creates an ideal environment for bacteria to feed and grow, erode the enamel and cause tooth decay. Decay caused by Nursing Bottle Syndrome is most prominent in the upper front teeth because the nipple of the bottle prevents saliva from washing away the sugars surrounding the top front teeth.

4. Start Early

Kids love routine so clean your baby’s gums with an infant brush or soft washcloth after each meal even before the teeth appear. Once your baby’s teeth begin to erupt, then you can start using toothpaste. When brushing your child’s teeth, the best kind of brush is soft with rounded bristles. Children under 3 years should have their teeth brushed by an adult. Children 3 to 6 years can brush with supervision.

5. Visit the Dentist

Don't wait! The Canadian Dental Association recommends children have their first dental visit by 12 months of age or within 6 months of the eruption of the first tooth.

The first dental visit is to

•Helps determine if the brushing you are doing at home is working

•Helps identify problems right away so the Dentist can fix them

•Helps the child become comfortable with visiting the Dentist regularly to prevent problems

Bonus tip - Make it fun!

We like to have a dance with music while brushing teeth at our house and mommy does it at the same time so everyone can watch and mirror me.

Here are some great teething tips as well.

If your child is getting his or her teeth and seems to be in pain, you can:

•rub the gums with a clean finger, or

•rub the gums with the back of a small, cool spoon.

•If your child is still unhappy, your dentist, pharmacist or doctor can suggest an over-the-counter medicine to ease the pain.

Here's what you should not do:

•Do not use the kind of painkiller that can be rubbed on your child's gums. Your child may swallow it.

•Do not give your child teething biscuits. They may have sugar added or contain hidden sugars.

•Do not ignore a fever. Getting new teeth does not make babies sick or give them a fever. If your child has a fever, check with your doctor.

If you ever want to check out Dr. Yabut Smile - she is located at 215 Woolwich Street.

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