Oral hygiene in children



Carefully chosen nutrition during pregnancy ensures an adequate supply of materials for the development of the child’s body and teeth. It is necessary to provide sufficient amounts of vitamin D, calcium, phosphorus, fluoride and other elements in the mother’s regular diet. Regular visits to the dentist are also important to address any dental issues before the mother becomes fully occupied with her baby.

Through preventive procedures such as removing hard and soft dental deposits, providing guidance on oral hygiene and using mouth rinses, the number of microorganisms in the mother’s oral cavity can be reduced, which means that the baby’s oral cavity will be preserved after birth. Once the child is born, the mother should consult a pediatrician or her dentist to establish a dental hygiene routine for the child before the eruption of the first baby tooth.


By the age of one, a child already has several teeth, and during this period, there is usually no need for treatment, making it an ideal time for the child’s first dental visit. This visit allows the child to become familiar with the dental office, instruments, dentist and experience what it is like when the dentist examines their teeth.

During this visit, the dentist can assess the child’s oral cavity development and provide advice on oral hygiene.

Around the age of five or six, the first permanent molars, known as “six-year molars,” erupt behind the last baby tooth, coinciding with the change of the first incisors. The dentist may recommend necessary preventive measures, such as sealants for the molars or local application of fluoride products.



Brushing should commence as soon as the first tooth erupts. Initially, use water with a cotton swab/bud or a small, rubber brush. Gradually, a soft-bristled toothbrush and toothpaste with an appropriate amount of fluoride can be introduced. Make tooth brushing enjoyable through play and storytelling. Parents should supervise the quality of brushing for the next few years.

Always brush your teeth in front of your child to serve as a role model!

Encourage your child to adopt brushing as part of their hygiene routine, praise their efforts, but ultimately, ensure you brush their teeth.

For older children, it is important to regularly check if they are brushing their teeth thoroughly.

A toothbrush is a fundamental tool for maintaining oral hygiene. The bristles of the toothbrush can be soft, medium or hard and the best option for children is to use soft-bristled toothbrush for comfortable brushing.


It is important to replace the toothbrush every 3 months to prevent the accumulation of bacteria on the brush head.


Toothpaste is an auxiliary tool for maintaining oral hygiene. It is important to use fluoride toothpaste to prevent dental cavity, i.e. dental caries. During certain critical stages of tooth development in the jaw (period from birth to 3 years, during which the development of permanent incisors and first molars occurs), attention should be given to the amount of toothpaste used. Swallowing toothpaste introduces additional fluoride, which then ceases to be beneficial and can lead to dental fluorosis. After the age of 6, the risk of fluorosis is negligible, except for wisdom teeth.

It is best to brush teeth after every meal; especially not to skip brushing after breakfast and before bedtime. Brushing should last 3 to 4 minutes. Preschool children should aim to exceed 1 minute of brushing time.

Once brushing becomes routine, it is also important to do it effectively.



    There are several steps that help with proper tooth brushing:

    1. Start by brushing the chewing surfaces of the upper teeth; then do the same for the lower teeth.
    2. Close the teeth and brush the outer surfaces of the teeth on the right side. Begin with the molars in a circular motion towards the center.
    3. Repeat the procedure on the left side.
    4. Reach the inner surfaces of the upper teeth by opening the mouth wide and brushing these surfaces in a circular motion.
    5. Repeat the procedure on the lower teeth.

    Finally, it is highly recommended to just spit out the toothpaste instead of rinsing the mouth with water. This helps retain a certain amount of fluoride from the toothpaste in the vicinity of the teeth.

    Bring your child to Miličić Dent and make your child’s first dental visit great! Their first encounter with the dentist at our clinic will be a pleasant and stress-free experience.


    Dr. Ana Davanzo Perestegi