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Health Tip: Dental Care for Your Youngster

- Dental care for your child should begin even before the first tooth emerges, the Nemours Foundation says.

Use a damp washcloth and run it over the child's gums to ward off harmful germs.

Once the teeth start coming in, use a child's toothbrush, but without toothpaste. At about age 2 or 3, a pea-sized amount of toothpaste is OK, as long as you're there to supervise. Make sure the child spits the toothpaste out and doesn't swallow it.

Toddlers should see a dentist by their first birthday, experts recommend.

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Posted: March 2008