Your Child's Oral Health

Your Child's Oral Health
Posted on 02/24/2020
child smiling with healthy teeth

A healthy mouth is to your child’s overall health and caring for their oral health needs to start at an early age. Maplewood Dental Associates believes that it is to provide their patients with quality information, in addition to the best dental care. The following information is from your Maplewood pediatric dentist on how you can care, and help your child care, for their oral health.

Baby Teeth Count

Some think baby teeth are not that important, but this is a misconception. Baby teeth are very important for your child to learn to talk, as well as for eating a well-rounded diet. Baby teeth start erupting between four to seven months old, and most kids will have 20 baby teeth by the time they are three years old.

The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that children see a dentist around their first birthday so that your pediatric dentist can look for early signs of problems. Another reason to start seeing a dentist at a young age is to help your child become comfortable with going to the dentist. This will help build a positive association with the dentist. 

Your child should visit the dentist every six months for professional teeth cleaning and a dental exam to identify any issues. Additionally, your MN children’s dentist will also give your child a fluoride treatment to help strengthen their tooth enamel and to help reduce cavities. Most city water systems also contain fluoride to help with good oral health. If you live in a city that does not have fluoride in the water, talk to your dentist about oral fluoride supplements.

Brushing and Flossing

When your child is around one year old, you should start brushing their teeth with a soft, child-size toothbrush. You should brush their teeth twice a day using a non-fluoride toothpaste because it is safer if they swallow the toothpaste. Once they are old enough to spit out the toothpaste, you should switch to a toothpaste that contains fluoride.

Your child will need help brushing their teeth until they are about seven years old. After that, you should supervise them to ensure they are thoroughly cleaning their teeth. Teach then how to spread the toothpaste around their mouth by brushing their teeth, gums, and tongue. Your child should brush their teeth for two minutes. Your child’s toothbrush should be changed every three months, as it will be less effective if the bristles are worn. 

It is also important to teach your child how to floss their teeth and have them do this at least once a day. It is typically best for them to floss before bedtime, so that food doesn’t sit between their teeth all night. If they are having difficulty manipulating the floss, you can buy floss that has a handle to make it easier. 

If you need help with teaching your child how to brush and floss, your MN children’s dentist can show your child the proper way to care for their teeth.

How to Make it Fun

To help your child develop good oral hygiene habits, make it fun for them! Here are some fun tips: 

  • Let your child pick out their own toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Read children’s books or watch videos on how to care for their teeth
  • Use a timer to make sure they brush for two minutes or play a song a two-minute song that they like
  • Reward them for a good oral checkup, with something other than sugary treats
  • Plan a fun activity following their dental visits


Children that eat or drink a lot of sugar are at a higher risk for cavities, so help them make healthy food and drink choices. This is not only important for their oral health but their overall health as well. 

Two of the biggest culprits that can lead to cavities are soda and fruit juice. When your child drinks these, they are bathing their teeth in sugar. Sugar in foods and drinks turn into acid that eats away at the teeth causing cavities. That’s not to say that your child should never have sweet treats, but when they do, you should make sure they brush their teeth afterward.

Dental Safety

If your child plays sports, they should wear a protective mouthguard. This includes baby teeth too. A mouthguard is a soft, plastic-type of retainer that covers their teeth to protect from injury. Mouth injuries are the number one sports-related injury, so that mouth guard is necessary for protection. 

Make an Appointment with Your Maplewood Dentist Today!

If you have more questions about maintaining your child’s oral health, contact our experts today. Our team will be happy to answer any questions you may have. If you're interested in scheduling an appointment with us, please feel free to give us a call at (651) 770-3831 or fill out our online appointment request form. We hope to hear from you soon!

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