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  • Children and oral care: what you need to know

    Learn the basics of maintaining your children's oral health, and set them on the road to a lifetime of happy, healthy smiles.

  • Did you know tooth decay is a common chronic disease affecting children in the United States? And the older kids get, the more likely they are to have tooth decay, up to 67% in children aged 12 to 17.

    Tooth decay (dental caries) can start early in the baby teeth of infants and young children. This condition can progress very quickly since the enamel of primary teeth is thinner than that of permanent teeth. While not the exclusive cause, early tooth decay is often associated with frequent feeding at nap time and bedtime, so be mindful and look below for some tips on your child’s good oral health.

    Why You Should Protect Against Tooth Decay

    There can be significant consequences of untreated cavities on children’s overall health and well-being. Left untreated, the pain and infection caused by tooth decay can lead to problems in eating, speaking and learning. It can also be costly when cavities are neglected, depending on the severity. Most important, the condition may also have a long-term effect on the child, as decay in the primary teeth is the biggest risk factor for cavities in permanent teeth. If teeth are lost due to cavities, it can result in a crooked bite later in life.

    Don’t Share … Infants & Oral Care

    Babies are not born with the bacteria that cause tooth decay. These cavity-causing bacteria are transmitted from parent to the infant, often before the eruption of the first tooth. Because bacteria are transmitted through the saliva, sharing of utensils should be avoided.

    Prevention is the Key

    Preventing tooth decay includes brushing your child’s teeth daily and reducing the amount and frequency of sugar eaten. It is also very important to have any existing dental decay removed from the teeth and to make sure the child is getting the amount of fluoride necessary to help prevent decay.

    Tips for Your Child’s Good Oral Health

    • Establish healthy brushing habits (even when you are brushing for them)
    • Explain the importance of brushing twice a day
    • Use only a “pea sized” amount of fluoridated toothpaste when brushing
    • Ask your dental professional about fluoride supplements if your water supply is not fluoridated, or your family uses bottled water
    • Limit the amount of sugar your child eats
    • Avoid sending your child to bed with a bottle (except water)

    © Philips Oral Healthcare, Inc. 2012. All rights reserved.


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  • Oral Health Costs Less at Walmart
    Keep those pearly whites strong and gleaming with expert articles and big savings on oral health products at our Oral Health Wellness Center. Get helpful tips to help the whole family on practice good oral hygiene and battle tooth decay and gum disease. And find big savings on essentials, from toothbrushes, floss and flossers to whitening aids, water jets and sanitizers. Walmart has what you need to maintain great oral health at a price you can afford.