Lay the foundation for a lifetime of healthy smiles (and teeth) for your baby, toddler or big kid!
It has been said eyes are the window to the soul. But when it comes to health, smiles and giggles can also tell us a lot. When our little ones are feeling happy, we know they are thriving physically and emotionally.
Here are four tips for keeping healthy smiles in your household:
Brush Twice a Day
Early Childhood for National Centers recommends to sweep away food after breakfast and before bed to keep bacteria and sickness at bay. Brush everywhere inside the mouth and don’t worry about rinsing, some leftover toothpaste is good for little teeth!
How much toothpaste should your child use?
- Use a smear if your child is under three years old.
- Use a pea-size amount if your child is age three to six.
Choose Healthy Drinks & Snacks
Drinks and foods that are sweet, have sugar or honey in them can harm your child’s teeth and gums. Fruits and vegetables are good snack options and will keep visits to the dentist to a minimum.
Some examples of healthy drinks & snacks provided by the National Center on Early Childhood Health and Wellness include:
- Low-fat milk, water.
- Apples, bananas, oranges, berries, chopped carrots, green beans.
A child with new teeth sleeps better without a bottle or leftover food in their mouth. Sleeping with food or drinks inside the mouth can cause serious infection around new teeth, according to the National Institute for Dental and Craniofacial Research.
Does your child still want to sleep with a bottle?
- Fill the bottle with only water.
- Use a pacifier instead!
Visit a Dentist
No two smiles are alike! Visiting a dentist will help you understand the ways in which your child’s smile is special to keep it healthy. A baby’s first dentist appointment should be scheduled as soon as the first tooth comes out. If a child has teeth, it means they can get cavities.
Build Your Child’s Brighter Future!
Want to dive deeper into the health your little one? Check out our Play and Learning guidance about Physical Health and Growth for:
- Babies — Your baby is exploring with all five senses and figuring out both her big and small muscles work.
- One-year-olds — She’s developing a sense of independence – with the fine and gross motor skills to match!
- Two-year-olds — When you take your toddler for a check-up, he’s learning all about the importance of good health and self-care.
- Three-year-olds — Your child is growing into a taller, bigger, stronger body that can do more new things every day.
- Pre-K learners — Caring for his health and knowing what foods and beverages are good for him are important milestones.