In addition to tooth decay, your dentist can provide insight about teething irritation, gum disease,
and prolonged thumb or pacifier sucking.
To further promote good oral health in babies, parents can utilize these five tips:
1. As soon as babies start teething, begin brushing them with a small, soft-bristled
toothbrush and water. Consult with your dentist before using toothpaste if your child is
under age 2. Teeth should be brushed for 2 minutes, twice a day.
2. Help tots floss their teeth. The earlier you introduce flossing, the more routine it becomes
for the child.
3. Avoid teeth misalignment by monitoring excessive sucking of pacifiers and fingers.
4. Never allow your child to fall asleep with a bottle containing milk, formula, fruit juice, or
sweetened liquids. Your child’s teeth are more susceptible to cavities caused by the sugar
in these liquids while they are asleep due to a decrease in salivary flow.
5. Encourage children to drink tap or fountain water. If you live in an area where the public
water supply is not fluoridated, consider asking your dentist for a prescription for a
fluoride supplement or purchase water that is fluoridated.
“The best way to teach a child how to brush is to lead by good example,” says Dr. Campbell.
“Allow your child to watch you brush your teeth to teach the importance of good oral hygiene.”
Children, like adults, should see the dentist every six months. For a young child, some dentists
may schedule interim visits every three months to build the child’s comfort and confidence levels
or to perform necessary treatment.