A Healthy Mouth For Your Baby

A Healthy Mouth For Your Baby

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[MUSIC IN] ANNOUNCER: A Healthy Mouth for Your Baby. Brought to you by the U.S. Department of Health
and Human Services, National Institutes of Health. [MUSIC OUT] Healthy teeth are important—even baby
teeth. Children need healthy teeth to help them chew and to speak clearly. And baby teeth hold
space for adult teeth. This video can help you keep your baby’s mouth healthy
and give him a healthy start! Here’s what you can do. Number one: Protect your baby’s teeth with fluoride. Fluoride protects teeth from tooth decay.
It can even heal early decay. Fluoride is in the drinking water of many towns and cities.
Ask a dentist or doctor if your water has fluoride in it. If it doesn’t, ask about
other kinds of fluoride, such as fluoride varnish or drops, that can help
keep your baby’s teeth healthy. KAREN: Does my water have fluoride in it? ANNOUNCER: Number two: Check and clean your baby’s teeth. Healthy teeth should be all one color.
If you see spots or stains on the teeth, take your baby to a dentist. Clean your baby’s
teeth as soon as they come in with a clean, soft cloth or a baby’s toothbrush.
Clean the teeth at least once a day. It’s best to clean them right before bedtime. At about age two—or sooner if a dentist
or doctor suggests it—you should start putting fluoride toothpaste on your child’s toothbrush. Use only a pea-sized drop of toothpaste. Young children cannot get their teeth clean
by themselves. Until they are seven or eight years old, you will need to help them brush. Try
brushing their teeth first and then letting them finish. Number three: Feed your baby healthy food. Choose foods without a lot of sugar in them.
Give your child fruits and vegetables for snacks. Save cookies and other treats
for special occasions. What’s one of the most important things
you can do to keep your baby from getting cavities? Number four: Don’t put your baby
to bed with a bottle—at night or at nap time. Milk, formula, juice, and other drinks
such as soda all have sugar in them. If sugary liquids stay on your baby’s teeth too long,
it can lead to tooth decay. (And decayed teeth can cause pain for your baby.) If you do put your baby to bed with a bottle,
fill it only with water. Here are some other things you can do:
Between feedings, don’t give your baby a bottle or sippy cup filled with sweet drinks to carry
around. Near his first birthday, teach your child to drink from an open cup. If your baby uses a pacifier, don’t dip
it in anything sweet like sugar or honey. Number five: Take your child to the dentist by age 1. Your child should have a dental visit by his
first birthday. At this visit, the dentist will: Check your child’s teeth. Show you
the best way to clean your child’s teeth. And talk to you about other things such as
a healthy diet and fluoride that can keep your child’s mouth healthy. So remember, protect your baby’s teeth with
fluoride. Check and clean your baby’s teeth. Feed your baby healthy food. Don’t put your
baby to bed with a bottle and take your child to the dentist by age one. [MUSIC IN] Keep your baby’s mouth healthy
and give him a healthy start! For more information about children’s dental
health contact the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. This video was produced by the National
Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, one of the National Institutes of Health
in Bethesda, Maryland. [MUSIC OUT]

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