General Family Dentist | Milwaukie, Oak Grove, Gladstone, Happy Valley and Portland, OR

Kevin H. Speer, D.D.S.
2250 SE Oak Grove Blvd.
Milwaukie, OR 97267
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Proper Care Of Your Child’s Teeth

Research has shown that having good oral health is vital to the overall health of adults and children alike. Establishing a solid set of habits that promote proper dental care will prevent the appearance of decay, the fostering of disease, and other problems associated with poor oral maintenance. There are some special considerations to be taken when helping a child learn to brush.


Starting Early With Flossing And Brushing

It’s never too early to start ensuring that your children know how to properly brush and floss their teeth, and it all begins when they’re still babies. Proper care of your baby’s gums and teeth begins with the use of a soft child-size toothbrush starting at 1 or 2 years of age.


  • Start by brushing your child’s teeth with water once or twice a day.
  • You can add fluoride free toothpaste in small amounts.
  • Once your child learns to spit out toothpaste, start using fluoride toothpaste.
  • Demonstrate how to get the gums, tongue, and teeth for your child.
  • Get help from your dentist on proper brushing technique for your child.
  • Graduate your child to a larger brush at age 7 or 8.
  • Replace the toothbrush every 3-6 months, or as necessary due to wear.
  • Introduce flossing as soon as possible, and ensure they floss at least once a day.


When Cavities Appear

In spite of our best efforts, children sometimes still get cavities, and knowing how to identify possible risk signs and getting them to the dentist early can be important steps in ensuring lifelong dental health.

Cavities occur as a result of a diet rich in sugary food and improper dental care and are more common in children due to the difficulty of ensuring their teeth are properly brushed. Keep an eye out for these signs of cavities in your children:


  • Discoloration of the teeth, particularly white and brown spots on their teeth.
  • Have additional medical concerns that may affect their dental health.
  • Don’t see the dentist on a regular basis
  • Had a premature birth or lower than normal weight at birth.
  • Have unhealthy diets high in sugary or acidic foods.


Healthy food choices are vital to a growing child’s overall health as they establish habits that will last a lifetime. Prevent your child from getting too much sugar by avoiding fruit juice, sugary drinks, and soda in particular. If your child has a diet high in sugar ensure that they regularly brush their teeth after they eat.


The Unexpected Role Of Gum

Believe it or not, it can actually be healthy to allow your children to have gum, particularly if that gum is sugar-free. Regular gum chewing can aid in saliva production, build strength in the jaw, removing food debris lodged in the teeth, reducing halitosis, and off-setting the acids that lead to tooth decay.

If you have any concerns the health of your children’s teeth, contact your dentist and ask for a consultation for both yourself and your child.

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