Healthy Teeth as Children Lead to Healthy Teeth as Adults

Underneath your child's baby teeth, the roots and position of the adult teeth are growing into place-and how those baby teeth are cared for, right now, will go a long way toward determining how well and for how long your child will maintain the adult teeth.

Research shows that children who develop cavities in their baby teeth are more likely to develop cavities as an adult, so the first thing to do is get your child to a dentist for a check up. The dentist can determine if your child is at risk for cavities and which oral hygiene program is most appropriate. For example, brushing should begin when the first tooth erupts.

If your child is at high risk for cavities, it's time to cut down on the starchy snacks, such as crackers and chips, and limit sugary beverages. Remember that giving your child a bottle of sweetened liquid many times a day or allowing your child to fall asleep with a bottle during naps or at night can be harmful to the child's teeth.

But no matter what kinds of foods and drinks are consumed, parents should make sure the child's teeth are brushed, flossed and rinsed regularly.

To learn more about the importance of good oral health for young children, visit the American Dental Association Web site at "".

© 2017 American Dental Association. All rights reserved. Reproduction or republication is strictly prohibited without the prior written permission from the American Dental Association.

This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.

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Top Tips for Good Oral Care During Childhood

  • Brushing and flossing
    Begin using toothpaste to brush your child's teeth when he (or she) is 2 years old. Young children tend to swallow toothpaste when brushing, rather than spitting it out. Introduce fluoride toothpaste when your child is old enough not to swallow it. As soon as two teeth touch each other, floss between them once a day. You can use regular floss or special plastic floss holders.

  • Dental visit
    New parents often ask, "When should my child first see a dentist?” Your child should see a dentist by his or her first birthday.

Brushing can be fun!

Brushing teeth with kids toothpastes and toothbrushes can be a fun activity. Check out our products to choose the one right for your child