Children are great at mimicking what they see. Therefore, be sure to set a good example by brushing and flossing your own teeth and by going to the dentist for regular cleanings and exams. Children do not have the manual dexterity necessary to brush properly until they are ten years old, therefore parents should follow behind them especially before bedtime.
There is no magic toothbrush, toothpaste, or mouthwash that prevents cavities but a balanced, healthy diet is a good place to start. Offer your child a variety of fruits and vegetables but stay away from sugary drinks such as Gatorade, soda, juice, and iced tea. Chewy, sticky candies such as Starburst and gummy bears are not recommended as they often get stuck in between teeth as well as in their deep grooves and crevices. Chewable vitamins are preferable to gummy vitamins for the same reasons.
Mouth guards should be worn during sporting events, especially high contact sports like football and basketball, to avoid dental injury.
Parents should take care in talking to their children about avoiding tobacco use in any form as it can lead to bad breath, tooth decay, and even oral cancer. Oral piercings including those in the tongue, lips and cheeks are not recommended as they can cause damage to the hard tissues of the teeth including chipping and fracture and can lead to infection.