Reviewed by John Gammichia, DMD, FAGD Dental hygiene is not just for grown-ups. If children don’t develop healthy dental habits when they are young, they probably won’t be inclined to…

Moms Guide

Mom’s Guide to Dental Health & Hygiene

Reviewed by John Gammichia, DMD, FAGD

Dental hygiene is not just for grown-ups. If children don’t develop healthy dental habits when they are young, they probably won’t be inclined to care for their teeth as adults. Even unhealthy baby teeth can cause problems for future permanent teeth. Oral care does not come naturally, but encouraging and modeling it in a child’s early years can lay the foundation for a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums.

Studies are increasingly showing a link between tooth decay and general health problems. Dental decay is the most common disease in children, especially since they tend to consume a lot of sugar and may not have the dexterity (or the motivation!) to brush it all out of their teeth. The Pew Center on the States says that almost 60% of kids experience dental decay.

Promoting the oral health of your child may appear overwhelming, and it’s no wonder when little Johnny keeps dropping his toothbrush in the toilet, and little Jessica brushes for a grand total of 4 seconds after multiple reminders. Despite all that, you’re still going through tubes of Bubble Gum Princess toothpaste at an alarming rate (though the dog’s breath has smelled awfully fresh lately).

That’s why we compiled this guide. We hope to provide not only facts and figures, but also real advice straight from moms just like you who are working with their babies, toddlers, tweens and teens every day to promote their dental health. We’ve divided our guide into sections for each primary age throughout your child’s development. Within each section you will find information, tips and advice to help you guide your child toward a healthy adulthood with a great smile.

Newborn – When There is Only Gum

Long before you felt your baby’s first kick, their teeth were beginning to develop below their gums. The hard enamel had formed around each tooth by the third or fourth month in your womb. During the first few months of their life, you were probably too busy and exhausted to think much about what would soon be happening in your baby’s mouth. Nevertheless, there probably came a day when you noticed they were more cranky than usual. Perhaps they drooled excessively or constantly chewed on their hand, your finger or any other object they could find.

I’ve always rubbed on my kids’ gums or baby teeth with washcloths or rubber finger brushes since they were babies… Let your kids get used to you ‘brushing’ in their mouth by starting with washcloths and rubber toothbrushes when they’re young. They won’t be so averse to it when you do try to actually brush their teeth, because they will be used to it by then.” – Renee, of Om…and then some


This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional dental advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist with any questions you may have regarding your oral health.

Brad Meinen

Brad Meinen has worked at 1Dental for over 11 years and has a vast understanding of the dental arena. He has used the dental plans from 1Dental personally for over a decade.

  1. It is very important that we teach our kids about good dental hygiene especially the very basic one which is to brush teeth three times a day or after eating and why to brush our teeth. Yes, you are right teaching them how to do it and why they must do it can be effective in encouraging them.

    Love your article, very helpful and informative especially to mothers like me. Keep on writing nice article, looking forward to read more of your impressive articles.

  2. I love that it breaks down issues by age. I have an almost 4 year old and soon to be newborn. It’s great to be able to find practical information about how to care for my 2 kids teeth all in one place!

  3. I’m totally adopting the Halloween candy rule with my kids! It gives them a lot of freedom AND a lot of responsibility!

    • I like that rule too! Of course, candy doesn’t even taste good after you’ve brushed your teeth. This guide gives a lot of great tips.

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