Children Dentistry

Start Your Child off with a Healthy Mouth
(Birth – 5 years old)
It’s never too early to start taking care of your baby’s teeth and gums. Even before they have teeth there are many ways to promote a healthy mouth.

Bottle Feeding

  • Hold your baby and the bottle during feeding.
  • If you put your baby to bed with a bottle fill it only with water.
  • When your baby falls asleep with a bottle and you’re not there to take it away, any milk, formula or juice in their mouth can pool, and lead to cavities.
  • Gently wipe your baby’s gums with a clean damp washcloth or gauze pad after feeding to remove plaque bacteria. This also helps your baby get used to someone reaching into their mouth.
  • Wean your child from the bottle by 12-14 months of age.
How to Clean their Tiny Teeth

Start cleaning new teeth with water right away.

Brush your child’s teeth at least twice a day unless their dentist recommends otherwise.

  • Begin using fluoridated toothpaste when your child is 2-3 years of age.
  • Supervise your children when they start brushing their own teeth.
  • Use only a pea sized dab of fluoride toothpaste for your child.
  • Floss your child’s teeth as soon as any two teeth touch. This removes plaque where a toothbrush can’t reach.
  • Make yourself and example by taking good care of your teeth.

Time for the Dentist!
  • Start taking your baby to the dentist within 6 months of the first tooth. This will help your child become familiar with the dental office and the dentist to become familiar with your child’s oral health.
  • Talk to your child’s dentist about fluoride supplements and varnishes.
  • Fluoride varnishes are safe protective coatings of fluoride that are “painted” on a child’s teeth to prevent and stop new cavities.
  • Fluoride helps harden teeth and makes them more resistant to decay.
  • Varnishes work best when painted on teeth 3-4 times each year.
Watch for Spots

  • It’s important to check your child’s teeth for white or brown spots, because these may be signs of decay.
  • Knee-to-knee method: you and another adult sit in chairs or on the floor with knees facing each other. Lay the child down with their head in your lap, their feet in the other’s. Have the child open their mouth. Then you, with clean hands, look at all of their teeth for white or brown spots.
  • Lift the lip to give a better view of teeth and gums.
  • Report any spots to your child’s dentist right away.
  • Check their gums too for any redness or signs of bleeding.
Give Healthy Foods*Bacteria in the mouth eat sugar and starches to make an acid that causes cavities. So…

  • Limit soda pop, sweets and starchy foods like chips and crackers made with white flour.
  • Offer foods like water, milk, fruits & vegetables, yogurt, meat cubes, tofu, cottage cheese and toast strips.
  • Eating a small cheddar cheese cube at the end of a meal or snack reduces acid attacks on teeth.

*Be sure to cut foods up into small pieces for younger children to help avoid choking.

Keep Your Older Child’s Teeth Healthy
(6 – 12 years old)

When your child is old enough to brush his/her own teeth, teach him/her healthy habits to last a lifetime.

Brushing Teeth

Brush your child’s teeth at least twice a day unless his/her dentist recommends otherwise.

  • Most children can brush their teeth by age six or seven with parental supervision.
  • Use only a pea-sized dab of fluoride toothpaste.
  • Floss your child’s teeth to remove plaque between teeth. By about age 10 children should be able to floss their own teeth.
  • Make yourself an example by taking good care of your teeth.
  • Ask your dentist about sealants.
  • A dental sealant is a protective coating that covers deep grooves in back teeth.
  • Sealants protect the back teeth from bacteria and the acid that causes cavities.

Keep Visiting the Dentist Regularly

  • Continue taking your child to the dentist as often as his or her dentist recommends.
  • Tell your child’s dentist about any dental concerns right away.
  • Keep offering healthy foods.
  • Oral bacteria eat sugar and starchy foods. They make an acid that can cause a cavity, so limit these type of foods.
  • Offer foods like milk, water, fruits & vegetables, yogurt, meats or tofu, cottage cheese and toast strips.
  • A dental sealant is a protective coating that covers deep grooves in back teeth.
  • Eating a small cheddar cheese cube at the end of a meal or snack reduces acidi attacks on teeth.