Are You at Risk for Tooth Loss?
How to keep your teeth for a lifetime.
Start Tooth Loss Prevention Early
Attention, parents: Just as with other aspects of early development, good prenatal care and nutrition can promote healthy tooth development. It even matters during pregnancy. "Teeth start erupting in the third to fifth month of pregnancy," Price says.
A few reminders for parents:
- Never put your child to bed with a bottle of milk or sweet fluids. This bathes the mouth in sugar.
- Wipe your tot's gum pads with sterile gauze once in a while, right before or while teeth are coming in.
- When your child is learning to brush her teeth, have her stand in front of you, with her back to your front, then look up at you, which makes the mouth open up.
- Have your child use toothpaste with fluoride, but make sure he spits it out.
- Ask your child's dentist about sealants, a plastic coating for the chewing surfaces of teeth.
- Have your child use a mouth guard when playing contact sports.