Dental Care


  • Fluoride is essential for the proper growth of teeth and strength of enamel.
  • Fluoride toothpastes are recommended when a child will not swallow large amounts of toothpaste.
  • The water in the Richmond, Henrico, Hanover and Chesterfield areas is fluoridated. The only children who need supplemental fluoride are those drinking water from private wells and breastfed babies, as fluoride is not passed in breast milk.
  • Fluoride supplementation, if necessary, need not start until 6 months of age.

Brushing Teeth

  • Brushing the teeth daily is important.
  • Establishing a routine that the child enjoys is crucial and should be started as early as possible. At first, the parent should clean the teeth with a washcloth. Later, use a soft brush and then teach the child how to do it on his own with supervision.

When to Take Your Child to the Dentist?

  • Ask your family’s dentist when they start seeing children.
  • Most area family dentists start seeing children between the ages of 2 and 3 years old.
  • If you have concerns about your child’s teeth before they turn 2, discuss it with your pediatrician and/or dentist.
  • You may choose to take your child to a pediatric dentist, though this is usually not necessary as long as your family dentist is comfortable seeing young children.

Teeth can become brownish and decayed in children who are continuously sucking and drinking liquids, especially juices. This is most often seen in the child who regularly goes to bed with his bottle. This is to be discouraged. Using other security objects, such as a stuffed animal or blanket is much better.