Bright, healthy smiles start when a child is young. Teaching good dental habits to your children will benefit them for their entire lives.
If left untreated, tooth decay in young children can cause pain and infections. These problems can delay eating, speaking, or playing milestones. Also, when children get cavities in permanent teeth, they may need more costly dental treatment later in life.
Follow these tips to keep your child’s teeth healthy and strong as they grow:
The First Tooth
Use a soft cloth, or brush, and water to clean baby teeth. There are also non-fluoride starter toothpastes that are safe for infants.
After Age 2
Use fluoride toothpaste. Parents can brush children’s teeth and begin to teach good habits, including flossing, until children can brush and floss on their own.
When They Can Brush on Their Own
Brush at least twice a day to remove plaque. Remember to clean along the gum line, and lightly brush the tongue to help remove plaque and food. Remember to brush for at least two minutes!
Floss daily; it cleans spaces between teeth that toothbrushes can’t reach.
Replace toothbrushes every three to four months. Once the bristles wear out or spread, it’s time for a new toothbrush. Use a brush with a small head that can easily get to all of the back teeth. The bristles should be soft, so they won’t hurt gum tissue and can bend to get into hard-to-reach places between teeth and under the gum line.
Health Coverage and Children’s Dental Care
Children who have health coverage are more likely to see a dentist regularly. If you or your child needs health insurance, we are here to help.