Getting ready for the dentist

Pediatricians want parents to rethink what toothpaste they are allowing their infants and toddlers to use.

The American Academy of Pediatrics announced last month that fluoridated toothpaste is appropriate for children as soon as their teeth erupt through the gums.

Doctors recommend allowing youngsters to use a small dab of toothpaste (about the size of a grain of rice) to clean their teeth until they are 3 years old. At 3, children can use a pea-sized drop of toothpaste.

Parents should supervise their children while they brush their teeth and teach them to rinse.
The Academy also discourages the use of over-the-counter fluoride rinse due to the swallowing some of the liquid.

To read more about the recommendation, visit aap.org/en-us/about-the-aap/aap-press-room/Pages/AAP-Recommends-Fluoride-to-Prevent-Dental-Caries.aspx.

To help prepare your child for a visit to the dentist, check out kidshealth.org/kid/feel_better/people/go_dentist.html.