We all want our kids’ smiles to be Hollywood stars as adults. This means that parents need to know how to protect their children’s teeth while also ensuring that they maintain good dental health throughout their lives.

It’s National Children’s Dental Health Month in February, so it’s the ideal time to get your teeth cleaned. “brush up”On instilling good oral hygiene habits

Consider this: Nearly one third of children aged between two and five years in the U.S. are affected with tooth decay. It is a leading chronic infectious disease among children that can cause serious health problems in the long-term and a significant threat to their health.

“Parents are bombarded with unsolicited advice and health findings that are constantly changing,” says Dr. Jade Miller, AAPD President. “We don’t want to add to that stress, but there are a few common misconceptions, that could help make a huge difference in your child’s oral health — which is linked to their overall health and wellness.”

The good news about tooth decay prevention is that it is almost impossible to prevent. These do’s/don’ts can help prevent tooth decay and keep children smiling for many years.

*Do cut down on sugar. Sugary drinks, including juice and candy, should not be consumed by children. Too much sugar can cause tooth decay. Instead, make sure they stick to their designated snack and meal times and that they drink lots of water throughout the day.

*Don’t put babies to bed with a bottle. Sugar is found in milk and juice. Babies are often put to sleep with sugary drinks like milk or juice. This can cause tooth decay. You should opt for water if you are using a bottle prior to going to sleep.

*Do wean children off of pacifiers by age three. Children will self-soothe naturally using pacifiers. But, long-term use can lead to cavities and cause an overbite.

*Do avoid topical teething gels and rings. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration advises against the use of teething gels containing benzocaine and lidocaine as they could cause harm to your child. Low levels of BPA and chemicals in teething rings, should also be avoided by caregivers and parents. These can be dangerous for your child.

Visit to learn more about pediatric dentistry and where you can find one in your local area. www.mychildrensteeth.org.