When To Start Your Childs Dental Care Routine
You do not need to begin brushing with a toothbrush or toothpaste until your infant’s teeth begin to erupt, but you should clean your baby’s gums on a daily basis.
Your child's teeth are likely to start erupting between six and nine months of age. These are very important teeth as they will help your child to eat properly and develop speech, and eventually become a guide that the adult teeth will follow.
Before Their First Tooth Erupts
Proper dental care actually begins before your child's first tooth appears. Each day, you should run a clean, damp washcloth over the gums to wipe away harmful bacteria.
Making the cleaning of your baby’s gums a part of your daily routine right from the start will help ensure that, by the time your baby’s first tooth comes in, you and your baby are both already accustomed to regular mouth cleanings. Furthermore, because every baby teethes a bit differently, it can sometimes be difficult for a parent to tell when their baby’s first tooth is beginning to break through.
Once Their First Tooth Appears
As soon as the first tooth begins to erupt from their gums you should start brushing with an infant toothbrush and fluoride-free toothpaste.
Your baby's primary teeth need to be cleaned regularly because just like your adult teeth, your child's teeth can get cavities too. Once your child has a tooth, plaque can begin building up on the surface of the tooth and causing decay.
Children should brush at least twice a day – once in the morning and once before bed. Flossing can begin once your child has two teeth side-by-side.
Baby Teeth Oral Hygiene Tips
Even babies can develop tooth decay if good habits aren't practiced. By following these oral health tips, you can help your child's baby teeth remain healthy:
- Avoid putting a baby to sleep with a bottle. It might be convenient but can harm the baby's teeth. When sugars from juice or milk sit on a baby's teeth for hours, they can eat away at the enamel, creating a condition known as bottle mouth.
- Teach your children good dental care habits as soon as possible. When you show them how to take care of their baby teeth you are starting positive habits that will last a lifetime.
- Take them to a dentist who offers children's services by the time they reach one year of age, or around the time when the first teeth appear. This will help preserve the baby teeth until they are ready to fall out and be replaced by adult teeth.