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Dental care for kids

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Updated: 4/11/2007 5:46 pm
Teaching your child proper dental care at an early age will lead to a healthier mouth as an adult. Like adults, children should see their dentist at least every six months. Your dentist may want to schedule a visit every three months to help train brushing and flossing habits, build a comfort level with your child, or to treat a developing problem. The best way for a child to learn to care for their teeth is by following your example. Let your child watch you brush, floss, and rinse, in order to help teach technique and convey the importance or oral hygiene. By age five your child should be able to brush his or her teeth with some supervision to ensure that all the plaque is being removed. Ask your dentist about how much toothpaste your child should use. Normally a pea-sized dab of fluoride toothpaste is sufficient. Teach your child not to swallow the toothpaste. While many children's toothpastes are flavored in order to promote healthy habits, swallowing toothpaste on a continual basis is not good for your child's general health. In addition to learning proper dental habits, nutrition plays an important role in your child's health. If your child snacks between meals, allow nutritious foods such as cheese, fruits, and raw vegetables, as these foods promote the least buildup of plaque.
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