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The University of Alabama

UA Matters: What to Know About Oral Health and Children

uamatters_logo 2It is never too early to start caring for your child’s teeth and gums. The University of Alabama’s Dr. Angelia Paschal provides some helpful hints on how to do just that.

  • 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.

    Dr. Angelia Paschal is an associate professor in UA's College of Human Environmental Sciences, Department of Health Science.

    Dr. Angelia Paschal is an associate professor in UA’s College of Human Environmental Sciences, department of health science.

  • 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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UA Matters is a weekly posting that offers information and tips on consumer issues facing Alabamians. The information is available to reprint in your publication free of charge. Also, access to subject matter experts is available upon request. For more information, contact Kim Eaton at 205/348-8325 or>.

The University of Alabama, a student-centered research university, is experiencing significant growth in both enrollment and academic quality. This growth, which is positively impacting the campus and the state's economy, is in keeping with UA's vision to be the university of choice for the best and brightest students. UA, the state's flagship university, is an academic community united in its commitment to enhancing the quality of life for all Alabamians.