The Big Idea: Caring for kids’ teeth is part of keeping their whole bodies healthy and strong.
Ten Tips for a Healthy, Happy Smile
- Brush at least twice a day—after breakfast and before bed.
- Take turns! Preschoolers are still developing the muscles and skills to brush on their own. Help kids brush. Then, ask them to take the lead and imitate your actions.
- Brush in tiny, gentle circles. Make sure to get the front, back, top, and bottom.
- Make it fun! Kids should brush for about two minutes. Sing the alphabet song to keep track of time.
- Fill kids’ diets with “anytime foods.” These include fresh fruits and vegetables and low-fat cheese.
- Drink water; it’s good for teeth and bodies!
- Brush or rinse after a snack, and space meals and snacks to give kids’ mouths a chance to wash away food.
- Visit the dentist twice a year.
- Ask the doctor or nurse to look at kids’ teeth and gums at their next visit.
- Let kids see you take care of your own teeth by modeling good brushing and eating habits.