There are several simple keys to keeping children’s teeth healthy from home.
Most parents and caregivers are surprised to learn that caring for children’s teeth and gums should start when they’re just babies. However, it’s recommended by pediatric dentists to start at birth by cleaning your baby’s gums with a clean, soft washcloth after each feeding. This will help remove bacteria from their mouths and to keep them clean and healthy.
Then, once their first teeth appear (usually at about 6 months), gently brush with a soft infant toothbrush and a small amount of fluoride toothpaste, about the size of a grain of rice.
From ages 1 to 3, try to brush twice a day for two minutes using a smear of fluoride toothpaste. The best times to brush are after breakfast and before bed. Starting at age 3, brush with a pea-sized amount of toothpaste.
Finally, make it a habit to look at your child’s teeth at least once a month. Healthy teeth should be all one color. So, be sure to see a dentist if you notice white or brown spots or stains on your child’s teeth.
Remember, visits to a local pediatric dentist are covered for little to no cost if your children are on AHCCCS, Kids Care and most health insurance plans, but check with your provider for more details. And visit