Help protect your child’s smile.en español

Follow the tips below to protect your child’s teeth from cavities. Young children want to brush their own teeth, but they need your help. Until your child is about 7 or 8, you should brush their teeth and help them floss.


Did you know the health of your mouth can affect the health of your baby? If you have a healthy mouth during your pregnancy, it will help keep your baby healthy.

Start out right!

  • Get a dental checkup while you are pregnant. It is safe, important and recommended.
  • Brush and floss after every meal.
  • If you vomit, rinse your mouth with a teaspoon of water dissolved in a cup of water.
  • Take your baby to the dentist before age 1



Baby’s First Months

Start taking care of your baby's mouth early, even before his teeth come in. Babies can get germs in their mouths that can cause tooth decay once their teeth start to come in. 

Here are some tips to keep your baby's mouth healthy:

  • Hold your baby while he or she eats.
  • After your baby eats, clean the gums with a clean, soft, damp cloth.

6 months - 1 year old

Baby’s will get their first tooth around 6-months of age.

Start good habits early!

  • Brush your child’s teeth everyday using a soft toothbrush and a smear of fluoride toothpaste.
  • Use a clean, soft, damp cloth to clean the gums where there’re are no teeth.
  • Help your baby use a cup.
  • Take your baby to the dentist before age 1.

1-2 years old

Check your child’s teeth and gums once a month. Look for white spots. If you see white spots, take your child to the dentist right away.

  • Brush the front and back of your child’s teeth after breakfast and before bed with a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste.
  • Lift his lips to brush at the gum line.
  • Floss your child’s teeth.
  • Take your child to the dentist for regular checkups.

3-5 years old

The cleaning and care that you start now will lead to lifelong habits that help your child keep a healthy mouth.

  • Continue to brush your child’s teeth with a soft toothbrush and a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste, twice a day.
  • Make sure your child spits out the toothpaste after brushing.
  • Do not have your child rinse with water. The fluoride that stays in your child’s mouth is good for his teeth.
  • Floss your child’s teeth. Ask dental office staff to help!

6 years or more

During this time, you will see changes in your son or daughter's mouth. Adult teeth will start replacing baby teeth. Help your son or daughter continue to maintain the good habits you started.

• Children need to brush their teeth at least twice a day.

• Take your son or daughter to the dentist for check-ups every six months.

• Ask your dentist about sealants and fluoride varnish to help prevent tooth decay.

With good oral health, cavities can be prevented! 

Resources for Parents

Last updated February 4, 2020