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Simple steps to healthy teeth, gums

Published April 07. 2012 09:01AM

Here are some simple steps to help keep your child's teeth and gums healthy from the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry:

· Fill sippy cups with water only. Children shouldn't sip on sugary drinks or munch on sugary foods for extended periods of time. If you give your child beverages other than water, serve them in a can or glass and limit consumption time. If you do provide sugary drinks in sippy or other types of cups, instruct children to finish them quickly. Take away the cup after a reasonable amount of time.

· Don't let children go to sleep with bottles. Even milk can cause tooth decay. If you do put your child to sleep with a bottle, it should contain water only.

· Limit candy. Sucking on candy is another way that kids can extend exposure to sugar. Limit sweets and the time it takes for kids to consume them, and make sure children brush afterward.

· Brush after meals. Have your children maintain proper oral hygiene, including brushing after meals and snacks and daily flossing, to reduce the risk of cavities.

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