If you have a baby or toddler, you have the important job of caring for your child’s dental health. The preventive dental care that your child receives today can have a large effect on his or her dental health in the future. For this reason, it is important to be aware of the recommendations made by dental health experts for the care of children’s teeth. You may be interested to know that the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has recently offered new dental recommendations. These new recommendations were published online on August 25 in the journal Pediatrics.
According to the new guidelines, all children should start using toothpaste with fluoride as soon as the teeth appear. This is regardless of their risk for developing cavities. However, the amount recommended for use does vary according to the child’s age. The AAP recommends using a smear (the size of a grain of rice) for children under the age of three. Starting at age three, they recommend using a pea-sized portion of fluoride toothpaste.
The AAP guidelines also recommend the application of a fluoride varnish by a dentist every three to six months, as soon as the teeth appear. This is to protect against tooth decay, one of the most chronic diseases affecting American children. However, the AAP does not recommend the use of fluoride rinses in children under the age of six. This is due to a concern about the risk for children under the age of six swallowing more than the recommended levels of fluoride.
If you have questions about your child’s dental health, talk to your dentist today. As a parent, you are your child’s best defense against tooth decay and other serious dental health issues.
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