If you’re a new parent and your child will soon be teething, you may be wondering when you should start brushing their teeth, and what other steps you need to take to protect their oral health. Read on, and get all the answers you need to a few common questions about tooth brushing for babies in this guide from Miles of Little Smiles.
How Early Should I Start Brushing My Baby’s Teeth?
As soon as they come out! Most kids get their first tooth at about 6 months of age, though some kids may not get a tooth until they’re almost 1. It all depends on how quickly they’re developing, and each child is different.
Even before their teeth come out, you should clean their gums after each feeding using a damp, clean cloth, or a moist piece of gauze. This helps prevent the buildup of oral bacteria after your child feeds.
Once their first tooth comes out, start brushing it using a baby toothbrush with a large handle and a soft tip. Brush the tooth with a very thin smear of toothpaste, about the size of a grain of rice, at most. You should also gently brush their gums.
How Often Do I Need To Brush My Baby’s Teeth?
You should brush your child’s teeth twice per day. We recommend brushing once in the morning either before or after their first feeding, and once at night after their final meal or feeding of the day. This is the same basic routine your kids should follow as they grow older, too! Brushing once at night and once in the morning helps minimize bacteria buildup and the risk of oral health issues like cavities.
Is It Okay To Use Fluoride Toothpaste At Any Age?
Yes. In the past, dentists recommended against fluoride toothpaste for young kids (3 years or younger) who did not know how to spit. But today, the ADA recommends the use of fluoride toothpaste for kids of all ages.
When brushing teeth for kids under the age of 3, you should use a smear or dab of toothpaste the size of a grain of rice. Kids over 3 years old who can spit on their ow can use a dab of toothpaste about the size of a pea.
When Should I Start Flossing My Baby’s Teeth?
You can start flossing as soon as your child has two teeth that touch, which usually happens around 2 or 3 years of age. Floss between each and every tooth at least once per day to remove food particles that brushing alone cannot remove.
When Can Kids Learn To Brush & Floss On Their Own?
Most kids can start to learn how to brush and floss on their own between the ages of 6-8, but this may vary.
When your kids start taking care of their own teeth, make sure to keep supervising to make sure they’re doing a good, thorough job! In fact, it’s a good idea to make brushing and flossing a family activity so that you can supervise them and lead by example.
Need More Information About Pediatric Oral Care? Schedule An Appointment Now!
If you have any questions about your baby’s first teeth, Dr. Mila Belgrade is here to help. We offer pediatric appointments for kids of all ages at Miles of Little Smiles, so contact us today or give us a call at (914) 949-6655. Dr. Belgrade will examine your child’s mouth to make sure their teeth are healthy, and can answer any questions you may have about their oral health and development as they grow and age.