Oral Hygiene & Diet

Oral Hygiene

  • Every child should have their teeth brushed at least twice a day, morning and night.
  • Since brushing teeth is a fine motor skill, children need an adult to help with brushing until they are 7 or 8 years old.
  • Toothpaste should never be swallowed. Fluoridated toothpaste should not be offered to a child until 3 years of age. Young children should brush with water.
  • Fluoridated toothpaste can help prevent cavities, but is not essential. If your child drinks fluoridated water, toothpaste is less necessary. The brush is cleaning the bacterial plaque off the teeth.
  • Replace a toothbrush about every 6 months when the bristles begin to flair.


  • Children should always be encouraged to eat a healthy, low sugar diet.
  • Fruit roll-up and other processed foods are not substitutes for real fruit.
  • Drinks can contain large amounts of sugar. Only six ounces of 100% fruit juice per day is recommended.
  • Avoid soft drinks. They can damage the teeth with the sugar content and high acid levels.
  • Children should drink milk and/or 100% fruit juice with meals, and water always between meals.
  • Hard candy and sticky candy can damage teeth, fillings, and crowns.
  • Potato chips, french fries, and other chip products can break down to simple sugars and cause cavities like a candy bar can.