Home Dental Care for Your Child

As a parent, children learn healthy habits and routines from you.  It is important to start home health care for your child as early as a few days after birth.  You can wipe your baby’s gums with a damp gauze pad or cloth after meal time to remove plaque and residual food.  This technique can be utilized until the first tooth erupts. After the first tooth comes in, use a soft child size toothbrush and water to gently brush all exposed teeth.  When your child can predictably spit; around the age of 2 or 3, start using a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste.  Flossing should become a daily habit when your child has adjacent teeth that are touching.  Children should be able to begin brushing their teeth themselves by the ages of six to seven and should always be supervised up to the ages of ten or eleven, when they have established a healthy and thorough brushing and flossing routine.  Your child may use a fluoride rinse when they are able to spit.  Use fluoride at night after their last food and drink, so that it can work over night when they are sleeping; this will help prevent cavities and help strengthen teeth.