We see that you have javascript disabled. Please enable javascript and refresh the page to continue reading local news. If you feel you have received this message in error, please contact the customer support team at 1-833-248-7801.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

How to care for baby teeth to promote a life of good dental health

When those first baby teeth appear, it's time to start teaching little ones about good dental health. In this episode of NewsMD's "Health Fusion," Viv Williams consults a pediatric dentist about when kids should have their first dental appointment and she shares tips on brushing.

A baby shows off his new teeth
Viv's son Will shows off his teeth when he was a baby. Brush baby teeth morning and night with a soft baby toothbrush and a bit of toothpaste that's the size of a piece of rice.
We are part of The Trust Project.

ROCHESTER — A life of good dental health begins in childhood. Dr. Elise Sarvas, a pediatric dentist at the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry says that kids should learn how to care for their teeth early to help prevent problems before they happen.

"The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and American Academy of Pediatrics recommend having your first dental visit at the sign of the first tooth or at their first birthday. Whichever comes first," Sarvas said. "At that visit, we'll not only show you how to clean teeth, especially on a on a wiggly 1-year-old, but also we'll talk about healthy foods for teeth, how to prevent trauma in teeth and what to expect moving forward with growth and development."

The American Dental Association website notes that when kids get their first teeth, parents or caregivers should help them brush twice a day (morning and night) with a baby tooth brush and a tiny bit of toothpaste the size of a grain of rice. When kids are ages 3 to 5, parents should still help them brush twice a day for 2 minutes each time with a pea-sized amount of toothpaste.

The ADA says parents should continue to supervise brushing until their kids are 6 years old and they're able to spit out the toothpaste on their own. It's not meant to be swallowed at any age.

Health_Fusion-1400x1400.jpg

Follow the  Health Fusion podcast on  Apple,   Spotify and  Google podcasts. For comments or other podcast episode ideas, email Viv Williams at  vwilliams@newsmd.com. Or on Twitter/Instagram/FB @vivwilliamstv.

ADVERTISEMENT

MORE HEALTH FUSION:
The aftermath of reports of active shooters at several Minnesota schools has increased anxiety levels for some students and parents. Even though the situation was a hoax, people worry about the real thing. In this episode of NewsMD's "Health Fusion," Viv Williams talks to the director of clinical services at Zumbro Valley Health Center about how parents can help their kids cope.

What to read next
Columnist Carol Bradley Bursack responds to some of the things readers commonly ask about her writing and how she chooses topics.
For Fay Haataja, of Carlton County, the post-COVID program at Essentia Health helped her overcome debilitating headaches, brain fog and long-term memory loss after more than a year of symptoms.
Built deep within a wooded area on the outskirts of Duluth, the topography of the area was thought to be optimal for housing — and hiding away — patients who had contracted tuberculosis.
Carol Bradley Bursack hears from a reader who feels they weren't given enough information about hospice and other alternatives as as their father went through cancer treatments.