Cavities, also known as dental decay, are the most prevalent chronic disease in children, with 40% of children starting kindergarten already affected. It is important to begin proper dental hygiene when your child is young to prevent unhealthy habits.

The following is a chart for your child's needs based on their age:

0-4 years
With a clean washcloth or gauze wipe an infant’s gums after feedings, and before sleeping.

If your baby needs something to sip on while sleeping work on getting them to sip on water.

When the first tooth appears, use a soft tooth brush to begin brushing it.
Once the first tooth appears, take them to see the dentist.

Once two teeth are touching, begin flossing between them. Have your child use a floss stick or an equivalent for ease.
Almost 95% of children have gingivitis, and this will help prevent that by removing food left behind.

5-8 years
Begin having  your child use a little toothpaste that doesn’t contain fluoride (they have a tendency to swallow it.)

Get an x-ray of your child’s teeth to see if there are any issues arising unseen by the naked eye.

6-10 years

The premolars come in around 6 years of age, and when they arrive get sealants on them to prevent cavities.
Sealants will protect the groves in the teeth from leftover food or plague. 

At first, they are 80% effective, and will remain 60% effective for the next 10 years but need to be routinely checked by the dentist.

11-12 years
This is when the second molars come in and need sealants as well.


1. brush morning and night, and floss daily;
2. Keep a toothbrush with them; and
3. Attend see the dentist every 6 months.



It is important for youngsters to see the dentist even though they’re baby teeth will fall out; the most common chronic disease among children is tooth decay. It is wise to get your child into the dentist once the first tooth appears so that the dentist and you can work towards keeping your child cavity free,  providing a healthy mouth for their permanent teeth.


Sealants are thin coatings that protect your molars from tooth decay (cavities) by placing a protective layer over the grooves in your molars where it can be hard to reach and clean. These should be applied to every child’s mouth and will last about ten years (while they do need to be checked routinely). At first, sealants are 80% successful in preventing cavities, and a 60% successful for the next ten years as long as routine dentist appointments are attended.


When a child has most of their permanent teeth orthodontic treatment may begin. This occurs anywhere between ages 8-14. While the biggest drive towards obtaining braces is straight teeth, the benefits are far more extensive. Aligning your jaw so it is anatomically correct will remove stress from your jaw joints, teeth, and gums.  Braces can improve your ability to chew and speak.

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American Orthodontic Society
American Dental Association

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