Children’s Oral Health

Children’s Oral Health

Healthy mouth, healthy child

Baby teeth are important! Not only do they help children learn to speak and chew naturally, they hold the place for permanent teeth until they are ready to erupt.

Taking care of your child’s oral health is key to long-term overall health. Here are some tips to care for your child’s dental health:

  • Clean your baby’s gums by lightly massaging his or her gums with a damp washcloth.
  • When teeth appear, lightly brush with a soft, child-sized toothbrush with a smear of fluoridated toothpaste.
  • Start using a pea-sized amount of fluoridated toothpaste on your child’s brush by age 3. Children should spit out and not swallow excess toothpaste.
  • Flossing should begin once teeth grow in next to each other.
  • School-aged children should brush at least twice a day for at least two minutes at a time. Continue flossing and using a mouthwash.
  • Children should not fall asleep with a bottle. Juice and other high-sugar beverages should be given in a cup, never from a bottle.
  • Let children brush under your supervision and assistance until they can brush by themselves – generally around age 7.
  • Encourage children to chew sugarless gum and stay away from sticky candy.
  • If your child plays sports, make sure he or she always wears a mouthguard.

This information is also available to download as an oral health flier.

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