Oral Health Tips For All Stages of Your Child’s Life!

  • PRENATAL: When you’re pregnant, you may be more prone to gum disease and cavities, which can affect your baby’s health. Make sure to visit a dentist every 6 months, brush twice a day for 2 minutes with fluoride toothpaste, and floss daily.
  • AGES 0-1: Good oral health starts before the first tooth appears!  Wipe your newborn’s gums with a clean, damp cloth at least once a day, and if possible, after ever meal. When the first tooth appears, typically between 4 and 7 months, begin brushing with a small toothbrush and unfluoridated toothpaste. Visit a dentist once the first tooth appears and then every 6 months after that.
  • AGES 2-5: Make sure your child is visits a dentist every 6 months, brushes twice a day for 2 minutes with fluoride toothpaste, and flosses daily. When your child is able to understand how to spit out toothpaste, typically between the ages of 2 and 3, start using a pea-sized amount.
  • ALL AGES: Don’t forget to make brushing fun! Read tips on how to help make dental hygiene fun below!

Make brushing teeth a family affair! Your children learn from you, so help set a good example brushing your teeth with them.

Help Make Brushing Fun With These Tips!

  • GO SHOPPING: Let children help choose their own toothbrush. They can pick one that has a favorite color or character.
  • IT’S ALL ABOUT FLAVOR: Let children help choose toothpaste. They can pick their favorite flavor.
  • HELP PASS THE TIME: Read books, play your child’s favorite song, or watch fun videos. Click here for 7 toothbrushing tunes that kids (and parents) will love and check out the Potter The Otter Book here.
  • REWARD GOOD BEHAVIOR: Think of what motivates your child. If it’s stickers, make a reward chart and let them add one every time he brushes. If they are a reader, let them pick out the bedtime story. Whatever it is—get creative!
  • STICK TO A ROUTINE: The more second nature brushing becomes, the easier it will be to make sure your child is brushing twice a day for two minutes!

Take a Trip to the Dentist

  • Your child should visit the dentist by age 1, or when their first tooth comes in.
  • Schedule visits in the morning, when your child is less likely to be fussy.
  • Plan a fun activity around your child’s dentist visit so they can associate the dentist’s office with something positive.
  • Don’t forget to make follow up appointments every 6 months, or as often as your dentist recommends.

Additional Resources for Oral Health for Children

Healthychildren.org

Smilecalifornia.org