• Before teeth erupt, clean gums with a clean, damp cloth.
•Brush teeth with a small, soft-bristled toothbrush. Introduce a pea-sized
dab of fluoridated toothpaste after two years of age, once the child
is old enough to spit out the toothpaste after brushing.
•Prevent baby bottle tooth decay: Do not give children a bottle of
milk, juice or sweetened liquid at bedtime or when put down to nap.
•Limit the time your child has a bottle. Your child should empty a bottle
in five to six minutes or less.
•Help your child brush his or her own teeth until six years of age. Allow
the child to watch you brush, and follow the same brushing pattern to
minimize missed spots.
•Avoid foods and treats that increase tooth decay: hard or sticky
candies, fruit leather, and sweetened drinks and juice. Offer fruit
rather than juice; the fiber in fruit tends to scrape the teeth clean,
whereas juice just exposes the teeth to sugar.