Children’s Dental Health

Did you know that cavities can be caused by germs that are passed from adults to children?

 Babies are born without the bacteria that prevent cavities from forming. They get it from saliva that is passed from their caregiver’s mouth to their own. Caregivers pass on these germs by sharing spoons, by testing foods before feeding it to babies, by cleaning off a pacifier in their mouth instead of with water, and through other activities where saliva is shared.

These germs can start the process that causes cavities even before babies have teeth, so it’s important to avoid sharing saliva with your baby right from the start.

 Tips for Parents from the Department of Health and Human Services:

  • Eat healthy foods to reduce the cavity-causing germs in your mouth.
  • Brush your teeth with toothpaste that contains fluoride.
  • Do not put anything in your baby’s mouth that has been in your mouth including spoons or a toothbrush, do not blow on your baby’s food.
  • Do not use your spit to clean your baby’s pacifier – use water instead.
  • You should brush your child’s teeth at least twice each day – once in the morning and once at night. Remember, the most important time to brush your baby’s teeth is right before bedtime.
  • Talk to your baby’s pediatrician or pediatric dentist about the right amount of fluoride for your baby.
  • Avoid giving your baby sticky foods and unhealthy snacks like candy, soda or juice in between meals.
  • Only give your baby treats or juice at meal times.
  • Avoid having your baby drink from a sippy cup filled with juice between meals.
  • Do not give infants juice until they are 6 months old.
  • Remember – first tooth, first birthday, first dental visit!

Click here for more information.

Thanks to Child Care Aware for this information!


Example of Parent & Caregiver Engagement Cards

Long time CITE member, Mary Lou Allen, initiated these ‘Building Brains from Birth to 36 Months of Life’  parent & caregiver engagement cards!
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