A member asked:

How can i help my young children keep their teeth healthy?

56 doctors weighed in across 27 answers
Dr. Kathryn Ko answered

Specializes in Neurosurgery

Never too young: to start good habits. Brush the teeth after each meal and after eating sweets. Teach them to use dental floss when they reach adolescents or earlier if they are mature.

Answered 5/8/2016

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Dr. Oscar Novick answered

Specializes in Pediatrics

Dental care: Keep your children's teeth healthy by brushing and flossing at least twice daily

Answered 5/8/2017

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Dr. Gary Sandler answered

Specializes in Dentistry

The right diet!: Eating a healthy diet avoiding foods and liquids high in refined sugars is paramount. Also avoid sticky starchy foods as well as drinks high in acids. This is actually more important than proper brushing and flossing which while I don't want to diminish it's essential and fundamental need, cannot overcome a cavity producing diet.

Answered 11/1/2014

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Dr. Arnold Malerman answered

Specializes in Orthodontics

See a Pro: 1st Dental appointment Age1. Don't wait, don't put it off. Best to see a Pediatric Dental Specialist for all the same reasons you see a Pediatrician. Go for examination, dento-facial growth & development evaluation, fluoride titration, oral hygiene instructions, diet analysis, so your child can become comfortable with Dental visits, and so much more.

Answered 9/11/2014

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Dr. Sandra Eleczko answered

Specializes in Dentistry

Healthy teeth: A healthy diet is very important to keeping teeth healthy. Soda, sweets, and other junk food should be reserved for special occasions. Keep snacks healthy. Teach them to use a cup to drink and not sippy cups! Teach your kids to brush and floss their teeth, but you should help them do this until they have the manual skills to do it well themselves, about age 6. Regular dental visits.

Answered 9/11/2014

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Dr. Paul Grin answered

Specializes in Pain Management

Healthy and Strong: Brush your teeth, gums and tongue twice a day for 15 minutes. Floss your teeth before the bed time daily. Watch your diet (plenty of calcium-rich foods and avoid sticky sweets, citrus drinks and sodas. See your dentist every 6 months for regular check-ups, cleanings and fluoride application.

Answered 9/10/2014

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Dr. Felicia Mata answered

Specializes in Cosmetic Dentistry

Regular dental visit: Healthy diet and proper oral hygiene always work besides seeing the dentist on a regular basis.

Answered 5/27/2015

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Dr. Tamer Abdel-azim answered

Specializes in Prosthodontics

Good oral hygiene: It's a good idea to encourage kids to maintain good oral hygiene through brushing and flossing at a young age. Minimizing excessive sugar intake and having a regular dental check-up every 4-6 months are some methods that may help them maintain good oral health. Ask your pediatric dentist about sealants which may help prevent tooth decay.

Answered 11/1/2014

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Dr. Keith Hollander answered

Specializes in Dentistry

Kid tooth care tips: Keep the snacking to a minimum, limit sweets and carbohydrates that become sugars, start brushing early especially before bed, feed them only at meals with an occasional snack. Use a tiny amount of fluoride toothpaste when brushing if they cannot spit out. Take them to the dentist at age 1 to check for Early Childhood Caries.

Answered 3/4/2016

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Dr. Oswald Cameron-Morales answered

Specializes in Dentistry

Prevention: Preventing oral disease by daily proper oral hygiene,routine dental examination, dental cleaning, fluoride application, eliminating oral habits such as thumb sucking, pacifiers, baby bottle, healthy diet and coating teeth with pit/ fissure sealants should keep a healthy oral cavity. Practicing some sports will require the use of a sport guard for trauma protection. Lead by example.

Answered 9/24/2016

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Dr. Jonathan Engel answered

Specializes in Dentistry

Diet and home care: work with them to brush their teeth at least twice a day for at least 2 minutes. limit how often they snack, frequency is a big issue. lastly, the least amount of sugar their eat the better. remember that all store bought juices have sugar in them...limit any sugary drink if not eliminate all. It takes some work but in the long run this is best. and see the dentist regularly

Answered 11/27/2017

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Dr. Alan Zweig answered

Specializes in Prosthodontics

Brush: Make sure your children are in a regular habit of brushing their teeth and eating healthy. Also make sure that they go to the dentist on a regular basis, and are happy to do so.

Answered 5/11/2015

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Dr. Lindsey Wolfer answered

Specializes in Dentistry

Brush: teach them to like brushing after every meal, floss when they get older and see the dentist twice a year

Answered 3/4/2016

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Dr. Thomas Yash answered

Specializes in Dentistry

Help: Your children need your help to maintain a healthy oral environment. They need you to help them brush and floss their teeth daily, up to age 6. Show them how you take care of yourself, too. Provide them with a good diet. Watch the sugary foods, even cereal to juice drinks. No sodas. Start early. Take control.

Answered 12/20/2014

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Dr. Adam Salm answered

Specializes in

Habits and education: Much like adults, kids will not do something unless they know how and why. Make sure they are taught to brush in the morning and night. Until early teens, adult teeth are constantly replacing baby teeth, which makes flossing difficult. However, this is the second step most kids don't appreciate. Make sure they know why flossing is necessary so that when they need to they get in early habbits

Answered 12/11/2014

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Dr. Alexei Buznikov answered

Specializes in Dentistry

Brushing and flossin: It is very important for your kids to brush for at least 2 minutes after each meal and especially before they go to bed. They should eat healthy and avoid candies, sodas, etc. Good idea to teach them how to floss and definitely take them to your dentist at least every 6 months.

Answered 3/31/2015

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Dr. Steven Pohlhaus answered

Specializes in Dentistry

Healthy Diet : A well balanced diet with minimal sugar is the most important. Start proper toothbrushing habits as early as possible. An exam at 18 months is recommended to make sure the teeth are healthy. Regular check ups can find any problems at the earliest stages if they do develop. Be positive about going to the dentist with your child.

Answered 3/4/2016

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Dr. Orly Hendizadeh answered

Specializes in Dentistry

Similarly to adults: Maintaining healthy teeth in children is very similar to maintaining healthy teeth for adults. Children should brush 3 times a day (most important to not miss brushing before bed). Best to not eat or drink anything (water ok) after last brushing. Also floss every night before bed. Children, like adults, should see a dentist every 6 months for check up and cleaning.

Answered 5/27/2015

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Dr. Shawn Murray answered

Specializes in Dentistry

Teeth Care: The best thing to do is instill in them the benefits of brushing and flossing. Often times its best to make it fun. With my own kids, I would let them brush themselves but then would help get all the spots they missed. Be sure to brush at least twice a day for 2 minutes and floss once a day.

Answered 5/24/2015

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Dr. Kevin Nail answered

Specializes in Dentistry

Oral hygiene: Commit to good oral hygiene and a good diet (minimizing sugar frequency and amount). Make sure to brush you children teeth 2 times per day and floss any teeth that have tight contacts between them. This helps them develop good habits that they can continue on to adulthood.

Answered 4/1/2016

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Dr. Hilary Baskin answered

Specializes in Orthodontics

Good habits: Of brushing and flossing of course. But also habits about what they eat-- sweats are fine, but some are far worse for your teeth (e.g., taffy, cotton candy, soda) than others (e.g., chocolate bars, ice cream, cake). Teach them to be smart about both caring for their teeth and how they eat.

Answered 5/27/2015

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Dr. Debra Rosenblatt answered

Specializes in Dentistry

Advise sealants: See DDS on prescribed intervals. Monitor brushing and flossing, take fl supplements if the water is not fluoridated and place sealants on the biting surfaces of all posterior teeth.

Answered 9/19/2015

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Dr. Ronald Hsu answered

Specializes in Pediatric Dentistry

Diet, hygiene, FL: Diet - reduce frequency of carbohydrate snacks (sweet or not). Cavity causing bacteria thrives on sugar and starch. Also avoid sticky textures (fruit snacks and dry fruits like raisin, for example). Hygiene - proper brushing, flossing to remove "left overs" and clear out harmful bacteria. Appropriate amount of fluoride can also be extremely beneficial in making tooth enamel more acid resistant

Answered 10/23/2017

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Dr. Thomas Rolfes answered

Specializes in Dentistry

Oral hygiene habit: Most pediatric and family dentists recommend that you begin their dental care by the age of 12 months, or when their teeth first come in. Then you bring them in every 6 months for a checkup. As for the times in between dental visits, be sure you are working to start good oral hygiene habits, like brushing and flossing twice a day. Also, candy and high carbohydrate foods can increase tooth decay

Answered 12/11/2015

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Dr. Victor Negrete answered

Specializes in Dentistry

Eat health, brush.: It's tough with young ones. You really can't rely on them to clean their own teeth so help them as long as they need it. Infants teeth can be brushed as they come in. I used to tickle my kids belly to get them to open their mouth then brush as I could. Remember bread, crackers, potatoes and waffles are carbohydrates not too dissimilar to sugar so rinse out with water often when they eat them.

Answered 2/13/2016

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Dr. Justin Nelson answered

Specializes in Pediatric Dentistry

Regular checkups etc: If they are young = brush with them to build/show good habits Regular checkups ACT fluoride rinse in areas that are not fluoridated or if you can not get drops prescribed by your dentist/MD

Answered 2/13/2016

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Dr. Jake Richards answered

Specializes in Dentistry

See A dentist: Find a good dentist to help guide you for one. Also remember that the duration and frequency of sugar/calorie exposure is more damaging/critical than the quantity. Don't let them sip drinks like soda, juice, even milk for extended time. Those drinks can be fine with a meal but bad between. Of course brush/floss daily. They need you to brush for them probably till 6-8yrs old. Good Luck

Answered 2/26/2016

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