A Kid’s Guide to Caring for Baby Teeth
Your baby teeth are really important. They help you chew your food, talk easily, and show people around you how happy you are.
To keep your baby teeth as healthy as possible, you need to take care of them and keep them happy by eating healthy foods, brushing them every day, and seeing your dentist often.
Healthy foods make your baby teeth happy and strong.
Candy, soda, and sugary snacks taste great, but they aren’t very good for your teeth. When you eat too much sugar, the bacteria in your mouth go crazy! They eat the sugar that’s around your teeth and can leave holes known as cavities or caries.
Cavities start off very small, so small that you can’t even tell they’re there. But soon enough, the hole will grow bigger, and your dentist will need to help you by fixing the cavity with a dental filling. Your teeth are very special and need to be protected from cavities because they can’t heal by themselves like a scraped knee can.
There are a lot of foods that make your teeth really happy and don’t cause cavities.
Crunchy foods, foods with a lot of vitamins, and foods with calcium are great for your smile. Some yummy ones include yogurt, carrot sticks, celery, apple slices, nuts, and meat like chicken or salmon. Your teeth also love when you drink water. Water keeps teeth clean and also keeps you hydrated and feeling good. Milk is also great because the calcium in it helps support strong bones and teeth.
Keep your baby teeth clean by brushing them every day.
One of the most important things you can do to keep your teeth happy is to make sure they’re clean. Even if you feel sleepy before bed or excited to go to school in the morning, it’s really important to brush and floss first.
You should brush your teeth at least twice a day and whenever your teeth feel dirty or you have food stuck between them. Flossing is just as important as brushing. Flossing after dinner and before you brush your teeth at bedtime is the best way to make sure the little spaces between your teeth are clean.
During your brushing sessions, there are three things to remember:
1. Use a pea-sized drop of toothpaste.
Your toothpaste makes your brushing work better. Not only does your toothpaste taste good, but it also protects your teeth from cavities. Don’t forget to always spit out all of your toothpaste!
2. Set a timer for two minutes.
Every time you brush, you want to brush for two whole minutes. It can be tough to remember how long two minutes is, so use a timer to make sure you brush long enough. Your parents can give you a sand timer or they can play two minutes of your favorite song.
3. Make sure you brush all of your teeth equally.
You never want to make a tooth feel left out, so make sure you brush all sides of every tooth in your smile. It can help to watch yourself in the bathroom mirror to see if you’re brushing everywhere evenly.
If you take really good care of your teeth, they’ll be around for a long time. As you get older, your baby teeth will start to fall out by themselves. This is really exciting because it means your adult teeth are coming in!
Losing Your Baby Teeth and Getting Your Adult Teeth
You don’t remember it, but when you were really, really little, your first baby teeth started to come in. Right now, you have all of your baby teeth, and you might have even lost one or two of them already.
Baby teeth, also called primary teeth by your dentist, start coming in when you’re only around six month old. You have 20 of them, and they usually start to fall out when you’re around six years old. Each tooth you lose will be replaced with a shiny new adult tooth that is very smooth and bigger than your baby teeth. You’ll continue to lose your baby teeth until you’re around 10 or 12 years old, and eventually, you’ll have 32 adult teeth.
Your new adult teeth are very strong, but they also need to be taken care of just like your baby teeth. In fact, taking care of your adult teeth is even more important because these are the teeth you’re going to have for the rest of your life!
Your dentist is your smile’s best friend.
Your dentist is one of the best friends your teeth can have. You should visit your dentist every six months for a checkup and to get your teeth deep-cleaned.
During these checkups, you’ll learn how your teeth are doing, if there are any cavities, and some really helpful tips for how to take care of your smile at home. You can also ask your dentist as many questions as you want about your teeth or talk about what you do to take care of them.
Your parents can call your dentist to make an appointment for checkups or if something is wrong with your smile, like a sore tooth.