• Children's Oral Health Month

    Children’s Dental Health Month

    From birth through the teenage years, parents must heed their children’s evolving dental needs. Developing healthy habits and visiting the dentist regularly helps children get a good start on a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums.
    In honor of National Children’s Dental Health Month, Delta Dental brings you an age-by-age breakdown of helpful facts and tips regarding your children and their oral health.


    • Dental visits. Take your child to the dentist shortly after the first tooth comes in, typically between 6 months to 1 year of age.
    • Before teeth erupt. Clean your baby’s mouth and gums with a soft cloth or infant toothbrush at bath time and after each feeding.
    • After teeth erupt. Clean them at least twice a day with a toothbrush designed for small children.
    • Pacifiers over thumbs. The pacifier habit is easier to break at an earlier age, which can lessen the chances of developing crowded, crooked teeth or bite problems.


    • Dental visits. Go yearly until your child turns 3. At that point, plan on making two visits a year.
    • Brushing. Parents should brush preschoolers’ teeth and supervise brushing for school-age children until age 7 or 8.
    • Flossing. Begin flossing when all the baby teeth have erupted, usually by age 2.
    • Toothpaste. Children 3 years and younger are most susceptible to tooth enamel defects caused by swallowing fluoride toothpaste. Use minimal toothpaste and remind them to spit it out afterward.

    School-Age Children

    • Dental visits. Twice a year, unless otherwise specified by your dentist.
    • Brushing. Supervise your child’s brushing until they turn 7 or 8. Encourage your child to floss too, and supervise until they reach age 10.
    •  Snacking. Lose the high-fat, high-sugar snacks and go for fresh fruits and vegetables, cheese and low-fat yogurt instead.
    • Mouth guards. Insist your child wear one during activities with a risk of falls or head contact with other players or equipment.


    • Dental visits. Twice a year, unless otherwise specified by your dentist.
    • Daily care. Brush after breakfast and before bed with fluoride toothpaste, and floss daily.
    • Snacking. The average teen eats nine times a day, so snacking on healthy foods is essential.
    • Mouth piercings. Avoid piercings of the tongue, lip and cheek. They increase the risk of infection, cracked or chipped teeth, soft tissue damage and choking if jewelry becomes unfastened.