UA Matters: What to Know About Oral Health and Children
- Teeth should be brushed twice daily using a soft, age-appropriate sized toothbrush.
- Parents should assist preschool-aged children in brushing their teeth; infants’ gums can be cleaned with a soft moist cloth or gauze pad.
- Mouth rinse should not be used immediately, if at all, after teeth are brushed in order to maximize the benefits of the fluoride in the toothpaste.
- Children should start seeing a dentist within six months after the first tooth erupts through the gum and no later than 12 months of age.
- Children should visit a dentist every 6 months unless recommended otherwise.
- Sugar consumption should be reduced (for example, avoid putting sweetened beverages in no-spill training cups/sippy cups; infants should not be put to sleep using a bottle filled with milk or beverages containing sugar).
Paschal is an associate professor in UA’s College of Human Environmental Sciences, department of health science.
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