Oral health begins with your baby

by Master Sgt. Lisan Burñey
86th Dental Squadron

Develop oral health practices with your baby early and you will set in motion healthy dental habits that will last a lifetime. February is National Children’s Dental Health Month, and the Ramstein Dental Clinic offers these helpful tips for developing an effective oral health strategy for your child.

• Take your child to see the dentist regularly, beginning by the child’s first birthday.

• Do not put your child to bed with a bottle.

• Wipe your infant’s mouth with a clean wash cloth after feeding.

• Start brushing as soon as the first tooth erupts.

• Begin flossing when two teeth begin to touch.

• Brush and floss your child’s teeth daily until the child can be taught to take care of their teeth unsupervised.

• Encourage your child to continue brushing and flossing daily. Do occasional spot checks to keep them on track.

• Make sure your child gets the fluoride needed for decay-resistant teeth.

• Ask about dental sealants. A sealant is a protective barrier that shields the chewing surfaces of back teeth against tooth decay.

• Encourage a low sugar, healthy diet for your child and your

• Be sure your child wears a mouth guard if they participate in sports.

Attitudes and habits established at an early age are critical in maintaining good oral health throughout life. During the month of February, dentists and technicians from the Ramstein Dental Clinic will be visiting area schools, youth centers, child development centers and libraries promoting healthy dental habits.

Dental clinic representatives will be in the Kaiserslautern Military Community Center food court at 3 p.m. today for more information on preventive dentistry.

Visit www.ADA.org for more information from the American Dental Association.