Brush After Every Meal
The real deal: In a perfect world, every child (and adult) would thoroughly brush after eating. But who has time for that? Your child isn't doomed to a mouthful of cavities, says Gregory T. Wilkinson, D.D.S., a pediatric dentist in Memphis. Get her into the habit of brushing twice daily (after breakfast and before bed), and encourage her to rinse her mouth with water during the day. It's especially important to brush well at night (you may have to help your child do it right), because food particles and bacteria can build up all day and form cavity-causing acids while she sleeps.