Healthy Smiles

Dentist by Age 1
Infants should visit the dentist as soon as the 1st tooth comes in or no later than age 1. Tiny teeth can get cavities too! Get to know the dentist early so that your child’s smile can stay healthy for years to come.
A 1 year old about to blow out the candle on her birthday cake
Help your child try a variety of healthy foods. Fruits, vegetables, nuts and whole grains are healthy foods for teeth. Milk, yogurt and cheese are full of calcium and other minerals that strengthen teeth.

Drink water when thirsty during the day. Save the milk, juice and other drinks for meal time. Cavities form fast when children sip on drinks other than water all day long.

Avoid sticky foods that stick in the teeth and can cause cavities faster. Common culprits are raisins, crackers and of course, candy.

How often a child snacks affects their dental health too. Limit foods with starches and sugars to meal time only. Allow your child to snack on fruits, vegetables, whole grains and cheese between meals.

Sharing Germs
Germs that cause cavities are passed from parents to their children. Avoid sharing forks, spoons and straws with your child and never put pacifiers, toys or other items in your mouth and then into your child's mouth.

Family Dental Health
Make sure the whole family has good dental health. Healthy mouths are less likely to spread cavity-causing germs.

Home Care
Brush morning and night is important. Children need an adult to brush for them until they can tie their own shoes. be sure to brush all parts of the teeth and brush slowly. It takes time to do a good job.
Fluoride Toothpaste
Use fluoride toothpaste to help teeth resist cavities. After brushing, spit or wipe out the extra toothpaste. Children age 2 and older should brush with a pea-size amount.

Younger children also need fluoride toothpaste if they are at risk for cavities. Check with a dental professional to find out your child’s risk.
A dab of toothpaste on a tooth brush