(NC) Did you know that severe tooth decay and cavities, both of which are highly preventable, are now the leading cause of day surgery among children ages one to five in Canada?
Parents can reduce the risks of dental decay by practising good oral hygiene habits from the moment that their baby's first teeth appear. Keep this guideline handy:
• Avoid putting your baby to bed with a bottle.
• Don't lick your baby's pacifier as you may pass along cavity-causing germs.
• Clean your baby's mouth with a soft cloth after feeding and gently clean newly erupted teeth with a small, soft toothbrush.
• Use floss to clean between all teeth that are touching.
• Check for early warning signs by lifting up baby's top lip. White, chalky teeth or brown or black stained teeth indicate a problem. Contact your dental professional immediately.
• Introduce fresh fruits and vegetables to baby's diet when appropriate and always encourage healthy eating.
• Offer water or unsweetened drinks in baby bottles and sippy cups.
• Begin regular dental visits by age one.
Additional tips and information are available online at www.dentalhygienecanada.ca.