Prevention Tooth Decay is Preventable Start early During pregnancy prepare for your baby by seeking dental care to reduce the risk of infecting your baby with decay-causing germs. After your baby is born, begin wiping or brushing baby gums and teeth. Children should see a dentist by age 1. Do not share utensils or put a baby's pacifier in your mouth. You could be sharing decay-causing germs. Stay Healthy Brush twice a day, especially before bedtime, for 2 minutes. Use toothpaste that contains fluoride. Choose a toothbrush with soft bristles. Floss daily to clean in between teeth, where your brush does not reach. Replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months, bent bristles are not effective at cleaning. Don't share toothbrushes to prevent sharing the germs that cause decay. Regular dental check-ups help detect problems early and reduce the cost of dental care. Eat a healthy diet and reduce the amount and frequency of sugary beverages. Oral Health and Overall Health Tobacco use increases the risk for gum disease and oral cancers. Diabetes and gum disease, there is a connection. Oral Cancer and Human Papillomavirus (HPV), get the facts. Pregnancy, an important time to prevent.