Oral Hygiene

Our pediatric dental team is here to be a resource for you in caring for your child’s oral health and helping them enjoy a beautiful smile as they grow. We offer a number of professional preventive treatments for your child, however, one of the most important ways to care for your child’s smile is helping them maintain good oral hygiene at home. During your child’s regular cleanings and exams, our pediatric dentists and team will discuss brushing, flossing and other oral hygiene routines that will help prevent dental problems and keep your child’s smile healthy.

Tooth Eruption

Your child’s teeth will begin to erupt through their gums at about 6 months of age and will continue to gradually appear until about age 3. Baby teeth typically fall out in the same order in which they erupted, beginning with their front teeth and moving back towards their molars, and will be gradually replaced by their permanent teeth. Teething can be uncomfortable, and you may want to use teething rinse or cool cloths to help soothe your child while their teeth are coming in.

Caring For Your Child’s Teeth

All infants should have a daily oral cleaning with a soft, damp cloth. Gently wipe your baby’s gums to remove any lingering milk or formula and help prevent bacteria buildup.

After the teeth begin erupting you can begin to clean their teeth using a soft-bristled baby toothbrush. Use a tiny smear of child-safe toothpaste for children younger than age 2. After age 2, use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste. You should brush your child’s teeth at least twice a day, and you can begin gently flossing your child’s teeth as soon as they have two adjacent teeth. We recommend that you brush and floss for your child until they are about 7 years old, when their motor skills will have developed enough for them to brush and floss themselves.

Oral Hygiene

Healthy teeth are important to your child’s health and development. Their teeth will help them eat and digest food, speak properly and guide their permanent teeth into the proper positions. We recommend that you:

  • Have your child brush at least twice each day
  • Help your child floss daily
  • Make and keep regular dental visits for your child
  • Ask our pediatric dentists about preventive care
  • Help your child maintain a healthy, nutritious and balanced diet
  • Ensure your child wears a mouth guard if they play sports
  • Avoid letting your child bring juice or other sweetened liquids with them to bed – if your child insists on having a bottle fill it only with water

Thumb, Finger or Pacifier Sucking

Thumb and finger sucking is normal in babies and small children. Most children will break this habit on their own by about age 4. If finger sucking continues beyond this point, please speak with our pediatric dentists. We will be happy to monitor the habit and provide assistance in breaking it.

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