For kids, healthy habits that start early will last a lifetime.
Give your kids the advantage of smart dental habits from the very start. Here are some helpful tips about preventive care for children, from infancy through adolescence.
After bottle feeding, always use a damp washcloth or gauze to gently clean your baby’s mouth. If your baby sleeps with a bottle, don’t fill it with anything except water.
Cleaning and Brushing
Start cleaning your child’s teeth with water as soon as they begin to come in. For children under two, brush their teeth with a light smear of toothpaste on a soft child’s toothbrush. At two to three years, use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste. Once children reach six or seven years of age, they can begin brushing their own teeth, with parent supervision.
Once your child’s teeth begin to touch each other, a toothbrush won’t be enough to reach the spaces between teeth — that’s when you start flossing. Children should be able to floss their own teeth at age 10.
First Dental Appointment
Schedule your child’s first dental appointment by their first birthday. Our staff will do everything possible to make your child’s first visit to the dentist a fun, enjoyable experience. Children receive a thorough examination, including risk assessments, to create a personalized dental care plan for immediate and long-term needs. X-rays are only taken based on risk and development. Most children receive a cleaning, depending on the dentist’s assessment and recommendations. Your child’s dentist may recommend sealants, a coating to protect deep grooves in the back teeth from the bacteria and acid that cause cavities.
What to Watch For
Keep an eye out for white or brown spots on your child’s teeth — these could be signs of decay. Also look for signs of redness and bleeding in the gums. If you notice either of these symptoms, talk to your child’s dentist.
Reduce the amount of sugary and carbohydrate-rich snacks your child eats: candy, mints, cookies, juice, soda. Whenever possible, have your child eat foods rich in protein, such as cheese and nuts.