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The last year has flown by! Your child is not a toddler any longer. They have grown into a little boy or girl! New interests. New activities. Learning so many things!

Continuing to take great care of those baby teeth is still so important. Baby teeth are essential for not only proper chewing and eating, but also for maintaining space for the permanent teeth and guiding them into their correct positions. The baby teeth also permit normal development of the jaw bones and muscles. With all these important functions, you can see why it is crucial to continue a good routine of brushing twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush and an ADA-approved kid-safe toothpaste and flossing once per day. Your child most likely can manage these tasks on their own, but it is still important to monitor and supervise. Unlike bones, teeth are incapable of self-repair. Visiting the family dentist every 6 months is another step in a good dental hygiene routine.

Kids like sugary drinks and snacks. However, it is important to limit them to avoid cavities. Cut down on cookies and candy as well as sugary beverages. Drinking sweetened beverages like juice, soda or sports drinks many times a day can be harmful to your little one’s teeth. Even “sugar-free” drinks contain acid which can harm enamel. While an occasional treat may be fine, water is always the best choice when your youngster is thirsty!

You, your child, and your family dentist continue to make a great team when it comes to your child’s dental development. Together you are laying the groundwork for a lifetime of good dental care. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends adding a fourth member to your team at age 7 with your first visit to the orthodontist. In the meantime, enjoy the milestones along the way!