Preventing Tooth Decay

  • Proper dental care is critical for children to learn. Bad habits learned in childhood can carry over into adulthood and cause expensive dental damage in the future. It is a good idea to take care of your baby’s mouth even before the teeth erupt. Developing good dental care habits should start at a young age.
  • Before baby teeth erupt, wipe down your baby’s gums with a clean damp cloth. This helps keep gums cleans and removes plaque. When a few teeth have erupted, you can start using a soft-bristled toothbrush. Fluoride toothpaste is recommended for children when they are old enough to spit out toothpaste and only use a pea-sized amount. Flossing begins when there is contact between two adjacent teeth.
  • Help brush your child’s teeth until they are able to brush themselves, usually around age 8 or when they can tie their own shoelaces.