Dental Tips for Kids
- Dr. Jensen and Dr. Davies recommend bringing your child to the dentist by the child’s first birthday or when the first teeth arrive, whichever comes first.
- Begin helping your child floss by the time their last two molars come together, which usually happens when children are 2 1/2 to 3 years of age.
- In addition to kids brushing their teeth, parents should brush the child’s teeth until around the ages of 7-9 – or until they’re able to tie their shoes or cut their meat on their plates.
- Curb thumb-sucking by approximately age 5 to prevent developmental abnormalities.
- Don’t allow young children to carry around sippy cups containing anything but water.
- Cut down on sugary snacks and juices between meals. One of the major cavity-causing culprits is eating or drinking sugary foods throughout the day.
- Limit sticky foods such as raisins and fruit roll-ups, which cling to the teeth. Experts note that raisins are very nutritious, but they tend to get wedged in the teeth and stay put. Encourage children to take a sip of water after eating these and other snacks.
- Take care of your own oral health. Research shows that the bacteria that cause decay can be passed from caregivers to infants and young children.
- Limit the sharing of spoons and bottles between caregivers and children and among children themselves.