Caring for Your Child's Teeth

  • Begin cleaning gums and teeth at birth. For infants, clean the gums gently with a clean, damp cloth after each feeding.

  • When baby teeth emerge, brush them with a small, soft-bristled toothbrush. For children ages 2 to 4 years, use a pea-sized dab of fluoridated toothpaste.

  • Your child's first visit to the dentist should be after baby teeth emerge and before the child's first birthday.

  • Prevent baby bottle tooth decay. Don't give children a bottle of milk, juice or sweetened liquid at bedtime.

  • Parents should help children brush until 6 years of age.

  • The best way to brush is for the parent to lead a good example. Allow the child to watch you brush. Follow the same brushing pattern to minimize missed spots.