Many people say the first thing they notice about others is their smile. And what is a smile? A collection of hopefully healthy, white teeth. So why is it that the average person begins getting his adult teeth as early as age 5? 

Can a kindergartener really care for them well enough to last a lifetime? 

Teaching Your Kids About Lifelong Dental Care:

Brush as least twice daily. In the beginning, you’ll be doing all the work. As he transitions to school age, let him do the brushing as you coach him. Remind him not to swallow the toothpaste and that only a pea-sized amount is needed. 

Avoid damaging foods. Yes, we all know about sugar (candy, sweets) but what about acid (citrus, ALL soda) or stickiness (dried fruit) or even breakage (ice)?

Floss. Once she has teeth touching within her mouth, it’s time to floss. If she’s antsy, try it while she’s distracted by a favorite television program. Feeling brave? Let her floss your teeth first. And smile the entire time. She’s watching you for cues.

Visit the dentist. The American Dental Association recommends scheduling his first visit within six months of the first tooth’s eruption. The earlier he gets accustomed to this routine, the more likely it will become a lifelong habit.

Protect the teeth. If your child is going to participate in contact sports or anything that puts her teeth at risk, custom-fitted mouth guards should be worn to avoid injuries to the teeth, lips, face and jaw.  

Expose him to fluoride. Whether in toothpaste, mouthwash or water intake, fluoride has been scientifically proven to prevent tooth decay by at least 25%. The CDC named it one of the 10 great public health achievements of the 20th century.

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