Dental Topics


Care of Your Child’s Teeth

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that your child visits the dentist every six months for a cleaning and fluoride treatment.

Brushing Tips

  • Starting at birth, clean your baby’s gums with a soft cloth and water.
  • As soon as your child’s teeth erupt, brush them at least twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush.
  • Use only a small smear of toothpaste that is the size of “a grain of rice” if your child is under age 3.
  • Use a “pea-size” amount of toothpaste if your child is 3-8 years old.
  • Use an ADA-accepted fluoride toothpaste and encourage your child to spit out excess.
  • You should assist your child with brushing until their manual dexterity has developed enough to demonstrate neat handwriting skills.

Flossing Tips

  • Flossing should begin when any two teeth touch.
  • Flossing removes plaque between teeth and under the gumline where a toothbrush cannot reach.
  • Floss your child’s teeth at night BEFORE brushing to remove plaque and food particles so that the flouridated toothpaste can reach the tight contacts between their teeth to prevent cavities.

Healthy Diet

Healthy eating habits lead to healthy teeth. The teeth, bones, and soft tissues of the mouth need a well-balanced diet like the rest of the body. Children should eat a variety of foods from the five major food groups. Diets high in sugar and starch can lead to cavities. The more frequently a child snacks, the greater the chance for tooth decay. The length of time that food remains in the mouth also plays a role. For example, the sticky consistency of gummy fruit snacks causes them to stay in the mouth for a long time, which leads to longer acid attacks on teeth. Choose more nutritious snacks such as vegetables, yogurt, cheese, and nuts.