Prevention and Oral Hygiene

At birth, the child’s gums should be cleaned with a 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” or rice sized amount of toothpaste for children less than three years of age.
  • “pea-size” amount of toothpaste for children three to six years.

Perform your child’s toothbrushing. Flossing should begin when contact points between the teeth close.