According to the American Dental Association (ADA) parents should instill in their children the importance of good oral hygiene at an early age, ensuring that this ritual will continue when they become adults.

 It is suggested that good oral hygiene be factored together when children are taught how to keep themselves healthy.

The ADA provides these age-by-age tips:

Babies, Toddlers and Pre-School

  • After each feeding, clean the baby’s gums with a clean wet gauze pad or washcloth
  • When teeth start to appear, brush them with a child’s size toothbrush and plain water
  • Begin flossing when at least two teeth begin to touch
  • Start dental visits by the child’s first birthday and make visits regularly
  • Brush teeth of children over age two with a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste and be sure to floss daily
  • Supervise your children while they are brushing their teeth to prevent them from swallowing the toothpaste

School-Age Children and Adolescents

  • Until they are six or seven years old, continue to brush your children’s teeth twice a day with a child size toothbrush and a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste
  • Continue to assist with flossing as needed
  • By age six or seven, children should be able to brush their own teeth twice a day but may require supervision until about age 10 or 11
  • Ask the dentist about dental sealants, protective plastic coating that can be applied to chewing surfaces of the back teeth where decay often starts
  • Remind your adolescent about practicing good oral hygiene

 If your child has dental problems, you should visit a dentist as soon as possible. If you would like to schedule an appointment for your child at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Dental Center call 718-206-6980


All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.