Oral Care Tips for Parents by the Ages

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(StatePoint) Proper oral care is essential to overall wellness. Here are a few tips and strategies for each stage of your child’s development:


Even before your child’s first tooth appears, good oral care matters. While some discomfort is associated with teething, you can help alleviate it by being prepared. When it comes to teethers, look for smart designs, keeping in mind that a teether can only do its job if your baby can hold onto it. Check out new solutions, like the Not-Too-Cold-To-Hold Teether, which features a handle that stays room temperature while the gel-filled teethers are chilled to go to work. The teethers come in four specially designed shapes with different textures to massage and stimulate gums in the front and back and reach all new teeth types.

The American Dental Association recommends a dental visit within six months of the appearance of a child’s first tooth, so this is also a good time to find a pediatric dentist for your child and schedule an appointment.

Babies and Toddlers

“It’s important to instill good habits at a young age. Even when your child still has a gummy smile, you can introduce the brushing gesture and oral hygiene habits with a toothbrush,” says Dr. Misee Harris, a pediatric dentist based in Arkansas. “One good option I like to recommend to parents is the Frida Baby Grow-With-Me Training Toothbrush Set because it’s designed specifically for this purpose with it’s triple angle bristles.”

Dr. Harris points out that the set contains both a training toothbrush for babies to provide sore gum relief and basic brushing training, as well as a training toothbrush for toddlers that helps continue to build good brushing habits and nurture their growing independence with your help. To learn more, visit fridababy.com.

“Making brushing fun and efficient is key when getting little ones to enjoy and engage in oral hygiene,” according to Dr. Harris.

Elementary-Aged Kids

By this age, kids should be well on their way to proper brushing techniques and oral care habits. Encourage them to keep up the good work by giving them a bit of control and independence. Let them select their own toothbrush and toothpaste, and help them create a routine that aligns with their dentist’s recommendations.

This is also a good time to instill good nutrition habits, as this can play a big role in oral hygiene. Indeed, cavities are one of the most common chronic diseases of childhood in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. So try to make snacks and beverages with added sugars more of a special treat than part of your child’s daily diet. Also, be sure to include plenty of foods that build strong teeth and gums.

Through each age and stage of your child’s development, you can play an important role in helping foster a healthy smile.