The No-Cavity Plan

First Dental Exam by the First Birthday

It is recommended that children have their first dental exam by the time the first tooth erupts and no later than their first birthday. Establish a dental home for your child where a pediatric dentist can provide you with preventive education, a place to go during times of oral trauma, and a lifetime of proper oral health care.



• If there is no space between the teeth, flossing is VERY important.

• You should floss at least 2-3 times per week.

• You need to floss teeth with no spaces between them, such as the molars.

• Flossing aids like Floss Sticks can make flossing easier for you and your child.


• Parents must take active role.

• You should brush at least 2-3 times per day, especially at night.

• Use an egg timer or a song to keep brushing for 2 minutes.

• Brush in round circles with angle toward the gumline.

• Toothpaste with fluoride should be used for all kids. Children below three years of age use a very small amount about the size of a grain of rice.


• Water (with no flavoring added) is the safest and best thing for your child to be drinking.

• Limit juice, milk, tea, soda and other sugary drinks  to specific meal times.

• Never put your child to bed with a bottle or sippy cup full of milk, juice, or diluted juice.

• Have your child drink a little water after meal and snack times.


• Foods containing carbohydrates and starches (chips, crackers, cereal) can promote tooth decay.

•The stickier the food, the longer it remains on the teeth, the greater the chance of tooth decay.

• Avoid gummy type vitamins and gummy snacks.

• Provide a balanced diet and try to save foods with sugar and starch for mealtimes only.

Sugarfree Gum

• Chewing of sugarfree gum between meals is encouraged. Look specifically for sugarfree gum with XYLITOL sugar substitute.


• Remember that it is the frequency that the food or drink comes in contact with the teeth that play an important role in causing tooth decay. It is not how much you eat but how often you eat snacks that causes more tooth decay.

• Try to eliminate “grazing” behavior or frequent snacking or drinking (unless it’s water)

The most important way to avoid a cavity is to help your child brush their teeth daily.

Start off on the right track by scheduling your child’s dental exam by age 1. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact a member of the local pediatric dental team at Anderson & Sheppard Pediatric Dentistry.

Tracy Fisher

Tracy Fisher is Growing Up in the Valley's head designer. She has been a part of the publication since March 2012. She is the proud mother of Charlotte, 6. She also eats too much chocolate.
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