As parents, our children’s health and happiness is our top priority. The American Dental Association provides a list of “tooth-truths”1 to help educate parents and caregivers on the essentials to taking care of their children’s teeth.
- The ADA notes teeth usually begin erupting between 6 and 12 months of age, and as soon as teeth begin to appear, they should be brushed with a fluoride toothpaste.
- Children younger than three need a “smear of toothpaste” (like a grain of rice), while children three or older can use “a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste.”
- Parents should brush their child’s teeth twice a day until they are comfortable their child can brush on his or her own. We recommend parents help their children with their home care through age 8 or longer.
- Parents also should floss between “any teeth that touch. We like to see children around age 1 or 2 so we can review home care instructions with parents and help them understand what will happen over the next few years.
- First cleaning appointments occur around age 3.
- In addition, the ADA states “drinking water with fluoride…has been shown to reduce cavities by 25 percent.”