It's never too early to start cleaning your child's gums and teeth. Bacteria, like those found in plaque, can lead to dental problems. Plaque is a thin film of bacteria that sticks to teeth above and below the gum line. The bacteria in plaque use sugars in food to make acids. These acids can cause tooth decay and gum disease.
Good brushing habits can help to remove bacteria and prevent plaque. And regular teeth cleaning by your child's dentist can remove tartar, which is plaque that has built up and hardened.
As part of your child's dental health, give your child healthy foods, including whole grains, vegetables, and fruits. Try to avoid foods that are high in sugar and processed carbohydrates, such as pastries, pasta, and white bread. Healthy eating helps to keep gums healthy and make teeth strong. It also helps your child avoid tooth decay, which can lead to holes (cavities) in the teeth.
Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your dentist or nurse call line if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.
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Current as of: May 12, 2017
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
& Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine & A. Evan Eyler, MD, MPH - Family Medicine, Psychiatry
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