Care of Child's Teeth

We're lucky that we know so much now about taking care of our teeth. Long ago, as people got older, their teeth would rot away and be very painful. To get rid of a toothache, they had their teeth pulled out. Finally, people learned that cleaning their teeth was important, but they didn't have toothpaste right away.

While you're swishing that minty-fresh paste around your mouth, think about what people used long ago to clean teeth:

  • ground-up chalk or charcoal
  • lemon juice
  • ashes (you know, the stuff that's left over after a fire)
  • tobacco and honey mixed together

Yuck!

It was only about 100 years ago that someone finally created a minty cream to clean teeth. Not long after that, the toothpaste tube was invented, so people could squeeze the paste right onto the toothbrush! Tooth brushing became popular during World War II. The U.S. Army gave brushes and toothpaste to all soldiers, and they learned to brush twice a day. Back then, toothpaste tubes were made of metal; today they're made of soft plastic and are much easier to squeeze!

Today there are plenty of toothpaste choices: lots of colors and flavors to choose from, and some are made just for kids. When you're choosing a toothpaste, make sure it contains fluoride. Fluoride makes your teeth strong and protects them from cavities.