How to properly brush a child’s teeth

Chris Day
A new study found that parents are unknowingly allowing their kids to use too much toothpaste when they brush their teeth. Freepik

A new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that many parents aren’t brushing their children’s teeth correctly. Some are using too much toothpaste, while others aren’t brushing often or early enough.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends daily dental cleaning begin as soon as a baby’s first tooth appears by wiping it with a damp cloth. Also recommended is that a baby visit the dentist by age 1 and parents start brushing a child’s teeth daily with small, soft, nylon-bristle brush by age 2. A fluoride toothpaste isn’t recommended until a child learns not to swallow too much of it.

The CDC and the American Dental Association recommend that only a rice-grain size of toothpaste be used when brushing the teeth of a child younger than 3. While children ages 3 to 6 should use no more than a pea-size amount of paste. Using too much toothpaste can cause a child to ingest too much fluoride condition known as dental fluorosis, where the teeth have visible changes in enamel structure such as discoloration and pitting.

Family Movie Night

“The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part”

Rated: PG

Length: 106 minutes

Synopsis: Everything is not awesome in this sequel to the hit 2014 film, as the citizens of Bricksburg are facing a huge new threat: LEGO DUPLO invaders from outer space, wrecking everything faster than they can rebuild.

Book Report

“Spencer and Vincent, the Jellyfish Brothers”

Ages: 4 ot 8

Pages: 40

Synopsis: Spencer and Vincent are jellyfish brothers who live together in the sea, their wet and shining home. One day a wave of superior magnitude separates them and the brothers know they have to do whatever it takes to find each other again.

Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books

Did You Know

A study published on Feb 4 in JAMA Pediatrics discovered a majority of children and teens are getting too much screen time and too little time sleeping and exercising. In fact, only 1 in 20 U.S. adolescents is meeting national recommendations for sleeping, physical activity, and screen time according to the study.

“The results are a wake-up call for everyone who wants to make sure our children have a healthy future,” said Gregory Knell, PhD, a postdoctoral research fellow at UTHealth School of Public Health in Dallas and the study’s first author. Knell added that lack of sleep can have considerable effects on physical and emotional health and academic performance.

Experts recommend children ages 6 to 12 get between nine and 12 hours of sleep and teens ages 14 to 18 get eight to 10 hours. And both groups should get at least one hour of moderate to vigorous exercise daily and limit screen time to less than two hours a day.

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