Your little one’s health is so important to you. You want to be sure they grow up to be as healthy and strong as possible. This includes their oral health! From a newborn with just gums to toddlers and their developing teeth, your child’s dental care has various stages. Here’s all to know about when to start brushing their pearly whites and tips on the best dental care for your child.
When to Begin Brushing
The old adage “It’s never too early to start” applies to your child’s dental well-being. Although your little one’s first tooth most likely won’t appear until they are between 6 and 12 months of age, you can start taking care of their mouth as early as a few days after their birth. Begin by using a damp washcloth or clean gauze to gently wipe your infant’s gums after feedings. This will wash away any bad bacteria that could form.
Once those first few teeth begin to develop, you’ll want to use a small, soft-bristled toothbrush and smear of toothpaste (the size of a grain of rice) twice a day to keep them clean. As they get older, switching to a soft-bristled toothbrush will ensure a more thorough clean throughout their mouth.
Once your child becomes capable of brushing their own teeth, you’ll need to observe and help them reach the areas of their mouth that are difficult to brush (i.e. premolars and molars. It’s also important that they use the appropriate amount of toothpaste, so you’ll likely want to help them get started with their oral hygiene routine every morning and night until they are a bit older.
How to Brush Your Child’s Teeth
The process of brushing a child’s teeth is not very different from your own, but you will want to be mindful to not apply too much pressure. Here are some best tips to ensure your child’s teeth are thoroughly and gently cleaned:
- If your child is between the ages of 0 and 3, use a smear of toothpaste. Once they are 3 and older, you can begin to apply a pea-sized amount to their toothbrush.
- After wetting the brush, position it at a 45-degree angle and begin to gently move the brush back and forth along each tooth. You’ll need to make sure you clean the front, back, and chewing surfaces of their teeth.
- To adequately clean their front teeth, position the brush vertically to remove bacteria and food particles from the front and back.
- Be sure to run the brush over the surface of your child’s tongue to remove any harmful bacteria.
Remember, it is best to brush your child’s teeth for two full minutes twice a day. Incorporating fun activities can make their dental routine more enjoyable. Your family dentist can provide additional tips, like making it a family affair or using music as a time guide.
With these helpful tips and regular checkups and exams, your little one’s teeth are sure to be healthy and bright throughout their childhood!
About the Practice
Clear Coast Dental serves the families of New Bedford and the surrounding areas through the expertise of our team of dentists. Our team combines decades of expertise to provide exceptional dental care that will keep your child’s teeth in tip-top shape in every developmental stage! We help you and your family achieve and maintain healthy smiles with a range of preventive services, like checkups and exams using state-of-the-art technology. To learn more about the best oral health practices for your child, contact us through our website or call (508) 500-1160.