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.