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Brushing Those Baby Teeth

Children should be supervised while brushing their teeth until the age of six to ensure that the teeth are being cleaned properly and that the child is learning proper dental hygiene habits.

It may seem like taking care of baby teeth isn’t a serious concern since kids are going to lose them anyway. However, the way baby teeth are cared for helps avoid cavities and infections. It also can help prepare adult teeth to come in more properly spaced and aligned, and can even enhance language development.

At around the age of two or three, you can begin letting your child brush while supervised, and then take over to do a more thorough job at the end. I recommend fluoride-free toothpaste for infants and toddlers, at the very least until the child learns how to spit. If you decide to use a toothpaste with fluoride, use it sparingly and only up to a pea-sized amount.

Help your child avoid sugary foods and other foods that are sticky as these foods easily lead to tooth decay. If your child does have these kinds of foods, make sure they rinse with water afterwards or at least drink a glass of water.

Being an active participant in your child’s oral hygiene will lead to good dental health habits once your child is old enough to start brushing unsupervised.