Dental Care for Newborns and Toddlers
Dental problems can begin early, even before your baby gets their first tooth.
- Begin cleaning your baby's gums right away.
- Use a soft infant toothbrush or cloth and water.
Make an appointment with a pediatric dentist for your child:
- When their first tooth appears
- Definitely by their first birthday
- For regular cleanings and check ups to keep your child's mouth healthy
Brushing & Flossing
As soon as your child’s teeth appear, start brushing twice a day.
- Use fluoridated toothpaste and a soft, age-appropriate sized toothbrush
- For children under two, use only a smear of toothpaste
- For children age 2-5, use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste
Watch your child brush their teeth and help them get to those hard to reach places, especially in the back of the mouth. Help your child floss daily to get loose food particles stuck between teeth. Your child's dentist or oral hygienist can show you what to do if you’re unsure.
Avoid Tooth Decay
You may not realize that your baby's teeth are at risk for decay. The most common problem is "early childhood caries," also known as baby bottle tooth decay. Give your child water in his or her bottle at bedtime instead of milk or juice. When you put your baby to sleep with a bottle of milk or juice, the liquid will remain on their teeth at night. This allows acids to develop that break down tooth enamel, and eventually leads to tooth decay.
TRICARE Dental Options
You may enroll your child at any time in the TRICARE Dental Program or the TRICARE Retiree Dental Program.