When should you start brushing your children’s teeth? There’s a very simple answer to that question. Now! However, the more detailed answer includes tips on how to brush, what to use and when to begin allowing your children to brush their own teeth. Thornton, CO children’s dentist Dr. Derren Tippets offers the following guidelines to help parents properly care for their children’s teeth at any age.
Infant Dental Care
You may be wondering how infant dental care is possible when most infants don’t even have teeth for the first few months of life. Don’t be fooled—hiding underneath those tender gums are primary teeth just waiting to erupt. Sugars in formula and breast milk can still affect those hidden teeth.
A few days after your baby is born you can begin to clean your son or daughter’s gums after each feeding. Use a soft washcloth or gauze pad dampened with warm water and simply wipe your baby’s gums. When that first tooth does erupt, you can begin using a small, soft toothbrush. Run the brush under warm water and gently brush each pearly white.
Toddler Dental Care
Of course, as your child grows more and more teeth will begin to erupt and their smile will become complete. As soon as two teeth are touching, it’s time to begin flossing. Starting to floss at this young age not only removes dental plaque that can lead to tooth decay, but also helps to accustom your child to regular flossing. Use a short piece of floss and guide the floss between each pair of teeth. Children’s gums are delicate so gently move the floss up and down and back and forth, taking extra care below the gum line.
Also, once your child is old enough to know how to spit—usually between the ages of two and three years old—you can add a dab of fluoride toothpaste when you brush your child’s teeth. Ingesting too much fluoride at a young age can led to a condition called fluorosis later, so make sure your child doesn’t swallow excess toothpaste.
And although Thornton, CO pediatric dentist Dr. Tippets often hears about toddlers who want to brush “all by myself,” it really is important for parents to do the job until children are older.
Children’s Dental Care
You know your children best, so when they’re ready to begin brushing on their own is a call you’ll have to make. However, Thornton pediatric dentist Dr. Tippets usually recommends waiting until a child is at least seven or eight years old. Encourage your children to brush twice a day for two minutes and to floss at least once every day.
Call Your Thornton, CO Children’s Dentist Today
To schedule a dental checkup for your child, or to ask a question about your son or daughter’s oral hygiene routine at home, contact Treasured Teeth.