Protecting kids’ teeth

Tips on caring for children’s teeth, in honor of National Children’s Dental Health Month

Did you know that in the United States most children have one or more decayed teeth by the time they are 3 years old? Did you know that tooth decay is the most common chronic children’s disease—five times more common than asthma? And, “children as young as 18 months can have a mouth full of decayed teeth that requires hospital dental surgery.” Such startling news comes from a recent press release from the Butte County Public Health Department (BCPH) announcing that February is National Children’s Dental Health Month. Fittingly, BCPH offers a number of ways to promote good oral hygiene in kids, including:

Clean a baby’s mouth during the first few days after birth: “After every feeding, gently wipe the baby’s gums with a damp washcloth or gauze pad. This establishes at an early age the importance of oral hygiene and the feel of having clean teeth and gums.”

Brush baby teeth with a soft infant toothbrush and water.

Avoid giving children sodas and sports drinks, which contain a lot of sugar.

See for more tips.