Our dentists get a lot of questions from patients. One of the most common ones we get from parents with little ones is when to start brushing a baby’s teeth.
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that you start brushing your baby’s teeth as soon as the first tooth comes in. Even before any teeth sprout, you should clean your baby’s gums daily using an infant toothbrush or damp washcloth.
Why Brushing Your Baby’s Teeth is Important
The day your baby’s first tooth comes in, it can begin building harmful plaque. Although your child’s baby teeth will eventually fall out, they serve as placeholders for permanent teeth. So, the better the baby teeth are maintained, the more likely the adult teeth will be to come in straight.
Tooth decay can also welcome harmful bacteria into the body that can lead to other health issues and may also cause the development of speech impediments. Plus, getting your baby accustomed to having their teeth brushed at an early age can help establish good oral health habits throughout childhood.
Tips for Brushing Your Baby’s Teeth
Brushing a baby’s teeth can be easier said than done, as they may not like you inserting anything into their mouth. But the following tips might help in your efforts.
- Stick to just water with no toothpaste at first. Once your baby has several teeth you can begin to introduce a tiny amount of toddler toothpaste. Fluoride is okay, but again, keep the amount of toothpaste used to a minimum.
- Use a small-headed and soft-bristled toothbrush that is specially designed for baby teeth.
- Play some fun music or have your baby hold their favorite toy while you brush. This will help your baby associate brushing with happy and positive thoughts and stimuli.
Don’t Forget Your Child’s Dental Exam
Once it’s time to start brushing your baby’s teeth, it’s time to start thinking about scheduling their first dental appointment for a teeth cleaning in Greenville, NC. It’s recommended that children have their first dental checkup around their first birthday, and they should continue seeing their dentist every six months just like adults.