Prevention and Oral Hygiene

At birth, the child’s gums should be cleaned with a soft infant toothbrush or cloth and water.

Growth of cariogenic bacteria and diet combine to promote plaque development and subsequent production of acid.  Oral hygiene practices should be implemented no later than eruption of the first primary tooth.

Cleansing the infant’s teeth as soon as they erupt with either a washcloth or soft toothbrush will help reduce bacterial colonization. Teeth should be brushed twice daily with fluoridated toothpaste and an age-appropriate toothbrush:

  • “smear” of toothpaste for children less than two years of age.
  • “pea-size” amount of toothpaste for children two to five years.

Perform or assist your child’s toothbrushing.  One technique to show the parent will be knee-to-knee, supine position.  Flossing should only be done when adjacent tooth surfaces cannot be cleansed with a toothbrush.