When Should Dental Care Begin?

Most pediatric dentists will agree that regular dental care should begin by one year of age, with a dental checkup twice a year for most children. Some children may need more frequent evaluations and care. This is a recommendation, but always check with your dentist will know better what is desirable:

From birth to six months:

-> Clean the infant’s mouth with gauze after feedings and at bedtime.

-> See your child’s pediatrician regarding the use of fluoride supplements.

-> Regulate feeding habits (bottle feeding and breastfeeding).


From six to 12 months:

  1. During this time the first tooth should appear.
  2. Ask your pediatric dentist for an exam.
  3. Brush your teeth after each feeding and at bedtime with a small brush with soft bristles.
  4. As the child begins to walk, stay alert of potential dental or facial injury, or both.
  5. Remove the child from the bottle by their first birthday approaches.

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Twelve to 24 months of age:

Follow the schedule of dental examinations and cleanings, as recommended by your child’s pediatric dentist. Usually recommended examinations and dental cleanings to children and adults every 6 months.

As your child learns to rinse his mouth and that most have erupted deciduous teeth (baby teeth), it is to brush with a dollop of toothpaste the size of a pea.