Once your child is 2, you can start brushing her teeth with a pea-size amount of fluoride toothpaste twice a day. You'll need to do the brushing until she's at least 6 or 7, but you can let her help you brush so that she starts to learn how. Teach her how to rinse and spit.
Here are other things you should do to prevent your child from getting cavities:
- If she's still drinking from a bottle or sippy cup, don't let her fall asleep with the bottle or cup in her mouth. The sugars in milk, formula or juice will sit on her gums and teeth and breed bacteria that will lead to cavities.
- Offer her nutritious food, and limit sugary drinks and candy.
- Find out if the water in your town is fluoridated. If it's not, your pediatrician or dentist may prescribe vitamins that include fluoride.
- Take your child to the dentist twice a year.
- Once her molars come in, ask her dentist about sealants, a thin layer of resin that can help protect the molars from bacteria.