When Do You Start Brushing Baby’s Teeth?
Brushing teeth can seem like a chore for anyone, but for your growing child, it’s especially important to develop a long-lasting healthy smile! The more familiar your child is with brushing, the easier it will be.
Use these handy tips from the board-certified pediatric dentists at Jenkins & LeBlanc to learn some helpful insights about when to start brushing baby’s teeth and more!
When to Start Brushing Baby’s Gums
Start an oral hygiene routine early! You can begin cleaning the baby’s mouth even before their baby teeth come in.
After feeding, gently rub the baby gums with a warm, washcloth and rinse the mouth out water. This will help remove any bacteria or food particles. Don’t forget the tongue and cheeks! Bacteria can grow here, too.
How to Brush Baby’s Teeth
Baby teeth are very important to your child’s oral health. And helping them get a jump start early in life ensures proper development of their teeth.
As your child begins to grow and their teeth develop, you can introduce brushing habits. When the first baby tooth erupts, typically between 4 and 8 months, you can begin to use a soft bristle toothbrush on their teeth. Once your child becomes a toddler, brush their teeth twice a day for 2 minutes a day.
Learn how to brush your baby’s teeth with these helpful tips:
- Brush in a well-lit room so you can see all of your child’s teeth. For a good brushing angle, have your child sit on your knee and tilt their head back. With older children, stand in front or behind them and tilt their head back slightly.
- Use a pea-size amount of fluoride toothpaste approved by the ADA
- Brush the baby teeth in small circular motion and make sure to cover all surfaces of the teeth
- Encourage your child to spit out the toothpaste afterward
- Try not to rinse with too much water so the fluoride remains on the teeth
- Supervise your child until their at least 6-7 years old to help them keep up their oral hygiene routine
- Don’t forget to floss, too!
Best Way to Brush Baby Teeth
Make it Fun
Start your child’s dental brushing habits out with a bit of fun! Allow your child to pick their toothbrush or toothpaste out!
There are so many flavors of toothpaste and assorted colors of toothbrushes. Your child can choose their toothbrush based on their favorite color, movie or cartoon character!
Letting your child choose their own dental tools and making this a fun outing will get your child excited about brushing!
Talk about Teeth
Explain to your child the importance of good dental hygiene as you teach them about their mouth and how to take care of it. The more comfortable your child is with brushing their teeth, the more responsive they will be.
Lead by Example
Making brushing a group activity, with you or with older siblings can give children the confidence in their brushing and encourage them.
By showing your child toothbrushing is a daily habit for you, it will show them how important dental health is and you, as a parent, take it seriously! Brushing with your child can also create a fun bonding experience!
We know children love to play games, so, why not turn brushing teeth into a game for your child?
You could sing while brushing, make up a story about how your toothbrush is a superhero, coming to save your teeth from plaque, or even create a reward system!
There are also many apps you can download on your phone or tablet to encourage your child to brush. Many use built-in timers to ensure your child is brushing the full 2 minutes.
Don’t Forget to Schedule an Appointment with the Dentist!
So now that you know when to start brushing baby’s teeth, don’t forget to schedule checkups every 6 months with your pediatric dentist for regular cleanings. Your dentist or dental hygienist can also provide you with tips and techniques for easy and efficient brushing.