How to Care for Your Toddler’s Teeth

Getting started on the right foot can make a difference that will last a lifetime. By helping your children establish good habits at an early age, you are increasing the likeliness that they will continue these habits throughout their lives. Following are tips for how to care for your toddler’s teeth.


Brushing and Flossing

• At minimum, brush your child’s teeth in the morning and at bedtime using a small, soft toothbrush and a pea-sized amount of fluoridated toothpaste.

• Brush every surface of the mouth (including the tongue) in small, circular motions for at least two minutes

• If possible, brush soon after your child has a high-carbohydrate, sweet or sticky snack or drink (including juice). If brushing is not an option, rinse your child’s mouth with water.

• Replace your child’s toothbrush every three to four months.

• Around age 4 or 5, your child will be ready to practice brushing his or her own teeth. Children still need your help brushing until they are 8 years old or until they can tie their shoes.

• Once a day, floss in between teeth that touch.

Smart Snacking

Opt for healthy snacks such as cheese, fruits and vegetables. Avoid juice, soda, candy and high-carbo­hydrate snacks such as crackers, cereal and pretzels. These foods feed the germs that can cause cavi­ties. Constant snacking on sticky foods or sipping sweet drinks throughout the day can cause tooth decay.