Skip to navigation Skip to Content


Search Marshfield Clinic Health System
Join a world-class health system. Find jobs

Dental Health for Younger Children

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​It is important to begin establishing good dental health practices shortly after your child's birth. Many dental professionals recommend you arrange a first visit to the dentist before your child's first birthday.

However, good dental health begins before the first visit with your dental health professional. Many dentists recommend cleaning your baby's gums after every feeding using a clean washcloth or a damp gauze pad.

Consult your dentist or physician for specific details regarding your baby's oral health.


You should plan to brush your child's teeth until they are old enough to do a good job by themselves. Your dental care professional will help with toothbrush selection and technique.

Despite the fact that baby teeth loosen and fall out as your child grows older, they are very important to oral health. Baby teeth serve as placeholders for permanent teeth and need proper care and maintenance.

Proper amounts of fluoride on your baby's teeth will help prevent cavities and tooth decay. Many communities add fluoride to the water supply, however you should ask your dental health professional if supplements are needed, such as in vitamins or direct fluoride treatments.

Major concern

A major oral health concern for infants and toddlers is the use of sugary formulas, fruit juices or soft drinks in bottles or "sippy" cups. Do not put your child down for naps or bedtime with a bottle of sugary liquid such as many commercial formulas or fruit juice drinks.

Your child's baby teeth can decay the same as permanent teeth causing painful treatments and possible tooth loss.

Your good dental health choices when your child is young will help establish good habits and make it easier to enforce daily dental hygiene as they grow up.​