When you want to set your child up for a lifetime of good oral health, establishing a solid dental care routine is critical to success. But just how early should your little one start brushing? The experts at the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommend starting as soon as your baby’s first tooth erupts—the same time he or she should start seeing a dentist. If you’re a new parent, here are a few things to know about getting a head start on oral hygiene.
Why Should Children Start Brushing So Early?
Although baby teeth may not last forever, it’s important to care for them on a regular basis. Brushing removes food particles and bacteria that are responsible for tooth decay. By avoiding decay, kids can enjoy healthy, strong baby teeth that allow them to speak and chew with confidence. Keeping up with early oral hygiene will also allow adult teeth to develop healthily.
Apart from protecting teeth, regular tooth brushing will also expose your child to the importance of oral hygiene. Over time, this will make them more likely to embrace the habit when they are ready to brush on their own.
How Should I Brush My Child’s Teeth?
Since babies and toddler do not have the necessary motor skills to brush their teeth, you will have to help them out in the beginning. However, it’s important to note that the process should be much gentler than what you may experience as an adult.
First, you’ll want to use a soft-bristled brush designed for infants so that you do not irritate sensitive gums. Next, apply a small dab of kid-friendly toothpaste to the brush. Gently move the bristles around the teeth and gums to clear away food particles and bacteria. When you’re finished, have your child rinse and spit out the toothpaste. Repeat this process twice every day.
While regular tooth brushing will help your child develop a vibrant smile, you’ll still need to visit a specialist every six months for a check-up and cleaning. Parents can discover this high level of care at the Dental Associates of Prairie du Chien, P.C., Family Dentistry Associates of Monona, and Waukon Dental. This network of family dentistry specialists takes a gentle approach to care. Your little one—and the rest of your household—can have an easier time discovering the importance of oral hygiene. Learn more about these services on our websites or by clicking the links above!