Healthy mouths, easy as 1-2-3!
For good oral health, keep these tips in mind when choosing your meals and snacks. Small choices can make a BIG difference when it comes to the health of your teeth and gums!
1. Healthy eating snacking comes down to choices and timing. Foods that are eaten as part of a meal cause less harm to teeth than eating lots of snacks throughout the day because more saliva is released during a meal. Saliva helps foods move out of the mouth and lessens the effects of acids, which can harm teeth and cause cavities. Your mouth doesn't make as much saliva when snacking, so it's important to limit between-meal snacks. Healthy choices for snacks include fruit, vegetables, or a piece of cheese.
2. Daily mouth care - brush, floss, rinse!
- Brush for 2 minutes twice a day with fluoride toothpaste.
- Floss daily to remove food and sticky substances from between teeth!
- Rinse - fluoride rinse can improve the oral health of all family members.
Use alcohol-free fluoride rinse daily to help prevent cavities, decrease some types of tooth sensitivity, and decrease the number of bacteria in the mouth. Remember - fluoride rinse is a topical fluoride, and it should not be swallowed. Young children who cannot spit out the rinse should not use it.
3. Regularly visit your dentist! Babies should see a dentist by their first birthday or when their first tooth erupts. Regular visits after this time will help ensure that everything in the mouth is healthy and strong!
Oral Health & Early Childhood - OrOHC's page of resources for oral health during the early years, including:
- Engaging oral health activities
- Videos about teeth and oral health
- Books for young children about dental visits and oral health
- Information for parents and caregivers
- Lesson plans for teachers
Brush, Book, Bed - Nighttime routine suggest by Healthy Children and American Association of Pediatrics
End Cavities - Children's Dental Health Project
Maternity: Teeth for Two - Information regarding transmission of cavity-causing bacteria from mother to child and how a mom's healthy mouth impacts her baby