Dental Care for Infants and Children

When should dental care begin?

Most dentists will agree that regular dental care should begin by
one year of age, with a dental check-up at least twice each consecutive
year for most children. Some children may need more frequent evaluations
and care. In accordance with this recommendation, the following dental
checklist for infants and toddlers has been provided.


Birth to six months of age:

  • Clean the infant’s mouth with gauze after feedings and at bedtime.
  • Consult your child’s pediatrician regarding fluoride supplements.
  • Regulate feeding habits (bottle feeding and breastfeeding).

Six to 12 months of age:

  • During this time, the first tooth should appear. Consult the dentist for an examination.
  • Brush teeth after each feeding and at bedtime with a small, soft-bristled brush.
  • As the child begins to walk, stay alert of potential dental and/or facial injuries.

Twelve to 24 months of age:

  • Follow the schedule of dental examinations and cleanings, as
    recommended by your dentist. Generally, dental examinations and
    cleanings are recommended every 6 months for children and adults.
  • As your child learns to rinse his/her mouth, and as most deciduous
    (baby) teeth have erupted by this age, brushing with a pea-sized portion
    of fluoridated toothpaste becomes appropriate.

Brush n Paste

Facts about deciduous teeth:

Proper care of a child’s deciduous teeth (also known as “baby” or
primary teeth) is very important as these teeth hold space for the
future eruption of permanent teeth.

  • If a baby tooth decays or is removed too early, the space necessary
    for the permanent teeth is lost and can only be regained through
    orthodontic treatment.
  • Infected baby teeth can cause the permanent teeth to develop improperly resulting in stains, pits, and weaker teeth.

Most children begin losing their baby teeth around the age of four –
usually the front teeth first. They continue to lose baby teeth until
the age of 12 or 13 when all of the permanent teeth finally come

Diet and dental care for children:

We recommend the following to ensure your child eats correctly to maintain a healthy body and teeth:

  • Ask your dentist to help you assess your child’s diet.
  • Shop smart. Do not routinely stock your pantry with sugary or starchy snacks. Buy “fun foods” just for special times.
  • Limit the number of snack times; choose nutritious snacks.
  • Provide a balanced diet, and save foods with sugar or starch for mealtimes.
  • Do not put your young child to bed with a bottle of milk, formula, or juice.
  • If your child chews gum or sips soda, choose those without sugar.

Ask your dentist for preventive treatments for your children like some of the following:

  • Flouride application
  • Pit and fissure sealents

Also ask your dentist for periodic dental check up cards.