- Take your infant to a dentist before the first birthday for an assessment of cavity risk, even if your child has only a few teeth.
- In general, brush your children’s teeth – 2 or younger — with a bit of fluoride toothpaste twice a day. At 2, start to use a pea-size amount of toothpaste.
- Reduce snacking. Eating any starchy or sugary food causes the pH level in the mouth to drop sharply. This leaves teeth acidic which is bad for the enamel. The frequency of exposure to acid (i.e. frequent snacking) is more harmful to the tooth than just the sugar content of food. Generally, it takes about 20 minutes for the mouth to balance the pH level in the mouth, so take a break from snacking.
- Do not share utensils with a child. For sure, do not “clean” a pacifier in your mouth, then give it to your infant. Research has shown that parents or caregivers with active tooth decay can pass cavity-causing bacteria via saliva.
- Brush preschoolers’ teeth for them. Generally, kids are not in a position to effectively brush their teeth until they are 7 or 9.
If you have any questions on any of the tips mentioned above, feel free to call our office at (818) 241-3155.