CSP Spotlight: Brush Up on Oral Health

Caring for young children's teeth is an important part of keeping their bodies healthy—and it's never too early to get started.

Strong first or baby teeth set the stage for strong permanent teeth, and help children play, learn, and grow. Children begin developing oral health habits early.  Once a child’s oral health habits are set, they often stay with the child for life. 

START EARLY

Even before teeth come in, you can take care of your child’s mouth by cleaning his gums with a washcloth.  Take your child for his first dental visit within six months of his first tooth, or by his first birthday.

BRUSHY-BRUSH

Help your preschooler brush her teeth at least twice a day (after breakfast and before bed) to keep them strong and healthy.

TEETH TIME

Young children should brush their teeth for about 2 minutes/.  While brushing your children’s teeth together, try playing some music or singing the ABC song four times to help him keep track of time.

CHOOSING A TOOTHBRUSH

Look for children’s toothbrushes with small heads and soft bristles.  Help your child get excited about brushing by letting him choose the color.

A LITTLE DOES A LOT

A little tooth paste goes a long way! Help children ages 2-5 add a pea-size amount of toothpaste to their toothbrush.  For children under age 2 just a smear will do!

CRUNCH AND MUNCH

Teeth love crunchy fruits and vegetables! With your child, try some tooth-friendly foods, such as apples, pears, carrots, or celery. With your older child try some tooth-friendly foods such as apples, pears, carrots or celery. Remember to avoid any food that be may be a choking hazard for infants and toddlers.

WATER WORKS

Drinking water helps keep bodies healthy and strong.  A swish of water can also help wash food away from teeth in between brushing. 

IT TAKES A TEAM

It takes a team to keep teeth healthy.  Visit your dental office twice a year and stay in touch with your primary physician and nurse.  If it is hard to find a dental office because of cost or distance ask your local health department for services near you. 

 

Community Service Programs of West Alabama (CSP), Inc.’s Head Start/Early Head Start, Child Care Partnership, and Early Intervention programs engage families and encourage healthy lifestyle choices.

Safe and healthy children are ready to learn and explore their world. 

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