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When we think about tooth decay, we don’t think about children, but we should. 55% of Latino children ages 2-11 have cavities in their baby teeth and 65% of teens have cavities in their permanent teeth. It all comes down to teaching childrengood dental dental habits at an early age.
Parents can start cleaning their baby’s teeth as soon as their first teeth pop out, which is normally around 4 months. Mother’s can do their part by avoiding nighttime bottles or breastfeeding too much. The first visit to the dentist should take place by their first birthday and brushing with toothpaste that contains fluoride should start around the age of 2.
Tips to Prevent Tooth Decay
- Don’t use bottled water to make formula, instead boil tap water and boil it.
- Eat healthy, so that you can pass on those healthy eating habits to your children.
- Teach children how to properly brush their teeth and use toothpaste that contains fluoride, twice a day.
- Do not blow on food when it’s too hot or share utensils with your baby because you can transmit bacteria.
- Do not give your child juice until he’s 6 months old and no more than 4-6 ounces per day.
- If you notice white or brown spots on your baby’s teeth, take them to the dentist because this might be a sign of a cavity.
- If your child wants a snack, don’t give them anything sugary or sticky; instead give them a healthier option like cheese, yogurt, or fruit.
- If your baby falls asleep with the bottle, remove it immediately because the sugars from milk or juice can turn to acid, which can lead to dental decay.