Your children’s teeth

step1

A healthy pregnancy helps the development of healthy teeth
  • Teeth start developing in the first three months of pregnancy
  • A mother should eat nutritiously and avoid tobacco, alcohol and non-prescription drugs to ensure a healthy pregnancy
  • Visit your doctor and dentist regularly

step2

Baby teeth are very important
  • The baby teeth start to erupt when a child is about six months old
  • Baby teeth help your child eat and speak, and are important for overall health
step3

Healthy food makes healthy teeth
  • A well-balanced diet is important for the development of healthy teeth
  • Cheese, yogurt and milk contain calcium that make teeth hard and can help prevent cavities
  • Between meals, choose unsweetened unflavored milk or water instead of juice or pop
  • Fresh or unsweetened canned fruits and vegetables are excellent snacks
step4

Feeding your baby
  • Clean the baby’s mouth and teeth following all feedings
  • Avoid letting your baby sleep at the breast or with a bottle of juice, formula, or milk as this can harm your baby’s teeth
  • If your baby normally falls asleep while feeding, brush his or her teeth before feeding
  • If your baby sleeps with a bottle, fill it with water
step5

Reduce your child’s sugar intake
  • Germs in the mouth called bacteria feed on sugar from foods to make acid that harms teeth
  • Fruit is the best dessert
  • Limit fizzy drinks and natural fruit juices as they may contain sugar and acids that cause tooth decay
  • Avoid feeding your child snacks containing sugar or sweeteners such as honey
  • Save sweets for mealtimes, when they are less likely to harm your child’s teeth
step6

Brush and floss your child’s teeth
  • Before the baby has any teeth, the gums should be wiped with a clean soft wet cloth after every feeding
  • Brushing should follow meals and snacks and sweetened medications
  • Use only a small pea-sized amount of toothpaste and be sure it is never swallowed. If your child routinely swallows it, do not use toothpaste
  • Once the sides of the baby teeth touch each other, flossing should take place at least once a day
step7

Lift the lip and look
  • Watch for changes in color, lines or spots on your child’s teeth as these may be signs of a potential problem
  • If your child knocks out a tooth, call your dentist immediately! Gently rinse the tooth – do not brush or scrub.Wrap the tooth in a clean cloth or gauze and put it in a cup of milk and get it to the dentist immediately
step8

Visit the dentist
  • A child should visit a dental office by the age of one year, or when the first teeth appear
  • Bring your child to the dentist for regular checkups to make sure there are no problems
  • Visits should continue from age two and a half when all the primary teeth are in the mouth