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Children can be a handful, especially when it comes to their oral health. For a parent or caregiver, here are some tips to help you ensure that your child’s teeth are in terrific shape:

Before your baby’s teeth come in, you should wipe her gums with a piece of gauze to help keep them clean of bacteria. Her first dental appointment should be within six months of her first tooth, but prior to her first birthday.

Once her teeth start coming in, you should use a toothbrush that fits her mouth, and a pea-sized drop of toothpaste. You should ask your dentist when the best time is to start using a fluoride toothpaste. Since many children will swallow toothpaste, you should avoid fluoride until advised by your dentist. As soon as two teeth are touching one another, it is time to floss your child’s teeth.

Foods that contain sugar or starch can lead to tooth decay, so it is important that your child eat a healthy diet and that you limit the sweets and starchy snacks. Sugar-free gum is a great alternative to candy and promotes the production of saliva. Saliva works to cleanse cavity-causing bacteria from your child’s mouth

Teaching your child the proper way to brush and floss when they are younger, and for that matter, being a good role model, will serve them well once their permanent teeth come in. By brushing twice a day, flossing before bed, and seeing the dentist for regular exams and cleanings, your child’s teeth, (and for that matter your teeth) can last a lifetime.

Dr. Samuel Bailey at West Valley Pediatric Dentistry in Taylorsville, Utah, will be happy to sit down with you and your child to discuss how to take care of your teeth. And if it is time for your child’s regular cleaning and exam, the doctor will be happy to handle that, too. To make an appointment, give our office a call at 801-417-8080. We look forward to hearing from you!