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Choosing Wisely: 5 Things Every Family Should Know About Dental Health


Use toothpaste with fluoride for infants and children

For children younger than 3 years, you should begin brushing a child’s teeth with fluoride toothpaste in an amount no larger than a grain of rice. For children 3 to 6 years of age, use a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste.
Child getting a sealant

Consider sealants to prevent decay or treat beginning cavities on the back teeth

Dental sealants act as a barrier to prevent cavities. They are a plastic material applied by a dentist to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth where decay occurs most often.
Boy smiling at his dentist

Ask about all the options for calming your child during dental procedures

Dental work can be scary for some kids. Talk with your dentist about ways to help your child stay calm. Tips for a successful dental visit can include making sure your child is not hungry before their dental appointment and scheduling an appointment at the proper time of day.
Woman holding an ice pack on her cheek

For jaw pain, try conservative treatments first

Jaw pain can be caused by stress, arthritis or an injury. A treatment plan for jaw pain should first consist of actions like exercises and anti-inflammatory drugs.

Don’t replace fillings just because they’re old

When you have a cavity, the dentist removes it and puts in a filling. These fillings can last for many years, but some people get silver fillings removed because they don’t like the color. However, the process of removing a filling can weaken the tooth. Additionally, insurance may not cover the removal.

Learn more about the ADA’s partnership with Choosing Wisely.