Brushing Your Baby’s Teeth: Ways to Effectively Brush Them

When do I start brushing my child’s teeth?

Once children start to get their baby teeth, brushing teeth becomes important not only to keep them healthy, but also to teach good oral hygiene early on. As a parent, you will have to brush their teeth for them and there are a few ways to do this effectively.

Ask your dentist

You should take your child to their first dental visit around 6 months after the first tooth comes in, before their first birthday. This can be a little scary for the child, but talking to them before hand and reading books about dentists can make it easier. If your child is still apprehensive, call your dentist and discuss it so that everyone is on the same page.

Ways to Brush Teeth Vary With Age

When the first tooth appears, it should be cleaned. One way to clean the tooth is to use a warm washcloth and substitute for a toothbrush until more teeth erupt. It’s best to ask your dentist when a toothbrush should be used and how it should be used. Most dentists recommend using a toothbrush after at least four teeth have erupted, but some will recommend waiting until the child is at least 2 years old.

Ask your dentist about toothpaste when you start brushing. Some children tend to swallow the toothpaste and this can cause problems later on. Always read the label of your child’s toothpaste, some are not recommended for children under 6 years old. Most whitening toothpastes are not recommended for children. Also ask about fluoride. Depending on where you live, your drinking water may or may not have fluoride in it and therefore supplements may be needed.

Choose a toothbrush that is small and has soft bristles. If you feel the bristles are not soft enough, soak the head of the brush in warm water for a few minutes to soften them up. Use a small, pea-sized amount of toothpaste. Brush your child’s teeth twice a day, once in the morning and once after dinner before bed. Brush for at least two minutes, focusing mostly on the back molars, where tooth decay is usually first to develop. Replace the brush every three months and never share the brush with anyone.

Make sure your child can see what you are doing and tell them what you are doing. This allows them to learn how to brush and learn good oral hygiene. The same goes for flossing. Tell them what you are doing and show them.

Flossing should start as soon as two teeth emerge. Flossing is another habit children need to get used to doing, since most tooth decay happens between the teeth. Flossing is a major part of oral hygiene and many people are not good at it.

Most children will not be able to brush their own teeth until they are close to six years old. Once they start brushing on their own, watch them and check the teeth afterwards for cleanliness.

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