Every parent wants the best for their child, but certain questions are difficult to answer on your own. One thing many parents ask is when they should begin cleaning their child’s teeth. Do you need to worry about children’s oral health before their primary teeth begin erupting? When is it okay for them to brush on their own? Continue reading to learn more from a pediatric dentist in Scottsdale about the best way for you to help your little one maintain a happy, healthy smile.
When Do You Need to Begin Brushing Your Child’s Teeth?
Many people don’t know, but you can actually begin implementing an oral hygiene routine just a few days after your child is born. It is a good idea to use a clean washcloth or wet gauze to gently wipe your baby’s gums after each feeding.
Once your child’s first tooth erupts, this is the time to begin brushing with a small, soft-bristled toothbrush twice each day. You can allow the brush to soak in warm water for a few minutes before brushing to soften the bristles even more.
How Do You Brush Your Child’s Teeth?
1. First, apply toothpaste to the brush. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that you use a rice grain-sized amount of toothpaste for children who are 0-3 years old. After this, a pea-sized amount is sufficient. Be sure that the toothpaste you choose contains fluoride. This is a natural mineral that is used in dentistry to protect and strengthen the protective enamel of the teeth.
2. Angle the toothbrush at approximately 45 degrees toward the gums. Gently move the toothbrush back and forth to reach the chewing surfaces of the teeth.
3. In order to brush the front teeth, place the toothbrush in a vertical position so you clean both the front and back.
4. Gently brush your child’s tongue to remove bacteria from the surface.
When Can Children Brush on Their Own?
You should brush your child’s teeth for them until you are confident they can brush on their own. This is usually around age 6-7, but every child is different. At this time, you should supervise them to ensure they are using the right amount of toothpaste and spit it out instead of swallowing it.
Brushing is extremely important when it comes to children’s oral health. By implementing a good oral hygiene routine early on, you are setting them up to have a happy, healthy smile!
About the Author
Dr. Veronica Martinez earned her dental doctorate from Marquette University. She is a member of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and maintains an Arizona state sedation license. A board-certified pediatric dentist, Dr. Martinez will be happy to further discuss brushing your child’s teeth during their next office visit. Schedule one on her website or call (480) 282-6746.