oral health care

Oral health care is important through the lifespan. In addition to the application of dental sealants, children and adults should follow the instructions below to establish and maintain good oral health care habits.

Babies/Young Children

If a child’s baby teeth have deep pits and grooves, a dentist may recommend dental sealants. Baby teeth save space for permanent teeth, so it is important to keep them healthy so that they do not fall out early!

To prevent tooth decay:

  1. Clean your baby’s gums before teeth come in with a clean, soft cloth after feedings and before bedtime.
  2. As your baby’s teeth come in, brush them with a child’s toothbrush and a smear of fluoride toothpaste twice a day, every day, especially before bed.
  3. Take your child to the dentist by their 1st birthday, whether teeth have appeared or not.

For more information on caring for your young child’s mouth, visit Healthy Teeth Healthy Kids.

Children and Adults


  1. Children and Adults should brush their teeth 2 times per day for 2-3 minutes with a toothpaste that contains a certain amount of fluoride depending on the age. See the Office of Oral Health’s Keeping Your Smile Healthy brochure for appropriate brushing information. Parents/Caregivers should supervise brushing until children are 7-8 years old.
  2. Be sure to brush all surfaces and sides of your teeth, and your tongue.
  3. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles.
  4. Replace your toothbrush every 3 months or after illness (particularly strep throat).


  1. Floss daily to clean between the teeth.
  2. Parents/Caregivers should floss children’s teeth until they are 7-8 years old.

Dental Exams

  1. Beginning as early as age 1, visit your dentist twice a year for a routine evaluation and cleaning. Depending on the condition of your teeth, you may only need to visit your dentist once a year or as many as four times a year!
  2. Let your dentist or dental hygienist know of any medical conditions you have and any medications you are taking.
  3. Do not ignore sore or bleeding gums that last longer than 2 weeks. See your dentist.
  4. Have an oral cancer exam yearly.
  5. Stop the use of tobacco products and limit the amount of alcohol you drink.

Foods for Healthy Teeth

  1. Fruits
  2. Vegetables
  3. Milk
  4. Yogurt
  5. Salad
  6. Sugar free gum with xylitol (xylitol is an all-natural sweetener in chewing gum and candies, that does not cause tooth decay).