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Caring for Older Kids’ Teeth

Kids ages 6 to 12 need to take good care of their mouths so their smiles last a lifetime. As a parent, you can help. Here are some suggestions:

  • Take your child to see a dental professional regularly.

  • Encourage kids to eat a balanced diet.

  • Limit sugary snacks between meals. Instead, offer healthy snacks such as fresh fruits and raw veggies, nuts, low-fat cheese, and plain crackers.

  • Make sure your child wears the proper protective gear, such as a mouthguard, during sporting events.

  • Get kids to brush twice a day and floss once per day. Swap old toothbrushes with new ones every three or four months.

What about the occasional toothache? Ease toothaches with a cold compress and some acetaminophen. A toothache may be an indication of a cavity or other problem. Call your dentist for advice.

“Frequently Asked Questions.” American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. www.aapd.org/resources/frequently_asked_questions/ Accessed 2013.

“Frequently Asked Questions: How do I make my child's diet safe for his teeth?" American Association of Pediatric Dentistry. www.aapd.org/resources/frequently_asked_questions/#45 Accessed 2013.

“Brushing Your Teeth.” Mouth Healthy, American Dental Association. www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/b/brushing-your-teeth.aspx Accessed 2013.

"Frequently Asked Questions: What can I do to protect my child's teeth during sporting events?" American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/b/brushing-your-teeth.aspx Accessed 2013.

"Flossing." Mouth Healthy, American Dental Association. www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/f/flossing.aspx Accessed 2013.

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