Start caring for your child's teeth as soon as you see
the first baby (primary) tooth. Some tips on dental care for a child include
Although some children quickly learn to brush their teeth, others do
not. If you are having trouble getting your child to brush, try some of the
You can also involve your child in dental health by letting him or
her pick out a toothbrush and toothpaste. Talk to your dentist about the type
of toothbrush your child needs, and steer your child in that direction. When
choosing a toothpaste, stay clear of tartar-cleaning toothpastes, as they may
taste bad or "sting" a young child's mouth. Ask your child if he or she likes the toothpaste, and change it if
this is not the case.
Your child can learn how to
brush his or her own teeth at about 3 years of age and should be brushing his
or her own teeth morning and night by age 4. Parents should supervise
and check for proper cleaning.
By 8 years of age,
your child will probably no longer need your help. It is important that your
child make brushing a habit, as this limits
tooth decay and helps prevent
Set a good example. Children imitate their parents.
If your child sees that you don't brush, don't seem to enjoy brushing, or
do it too quickly, he or she might well do the same.
January 7, 2013
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
& Arden Christen, DDS, MSD, MA, FACD - Dentistry
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