Some Facts You Should Know during National Children’s Dental Health Month!

It takes only 20 seconds for bacteria in a child’s mouth to convert sugar into an enamel-destroying acid.

20 gallons of toothpaste will be used in a lifetime by the average person brushing 2 times a day.

Only a pea sized amount of toothpaste is needed for each brushing, much less for small children.

Parents should begin brushing their child’s teeth as soon as they appear.

Flossing should begin as early as possible, especially once 2 teeth are present and touching.

The first tooth erupts around 6 months of age.  By three years old, all 20 teeth are usually present.

Permanent teeth begin arriving around age 6.

Two minutes is the recommended time to spend brushing twice each day once all the teeth are present.

Fever and diarrhea are NOT normal during teething.  Being fussy and irritable is normal.

Your child’s first visit to the dentist should be around age one.

Fluoride is a natural occurring mineral that helps make tooth enamel more resistant to decay.

Work with your dental team to determine if your child is getting an adequate amount of fluoride.

Infants and young children may naturally suck on thumbs, fingers or pacifiers.  These should be discouraged once the child is 4-5 years old.  Never dip a pacifier in sugar or sweetened juice.

Children are born without the bacteria that cause tooth decay.  These bacteria are most often transferred to the child by the parents or caregivers when they put a spoon or pacifier in their mouth and then in the child’s.

If your child must have a bottle at bedtime, try to have them finish it before going to bed.  If your child does go to bed with a bottle, make sure it only has water in it once teeth appear.

All juices have some type of sugar in them, whether it is added or a natural sugar in the juice.

Once teeth appear, protect them from prolonged exposure to liquids such as fruit juice, milk or formula.

Parents should assist their child in brushing and flossing until they exhibit the ability to do an adequate job by themselves.  This is usually not until 5-6 years old.

Thanks for Reading,

Dr. Bruce