When Can You Start Brushing Baby Teeth?
As parents, we are constantly bombarded with advice and recommendations on how to care for our little ones, including when to start brushing their teeth. Many new parents wonder when they should begin this important oral hygiene routine. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends starting to brush your baby’s teeth as soon as the first tooth appears, usually around six months of age.
Brushing your baby’s teeth is crucial for their oral health, as it helps remove plaque and prevent tooth decay. But how do you go about it? Below, we have answered some frequently asked questions to guide you through this essential milestone.
FAQs about Brushing Baby Teeth:
1. When should I start brushing my baby’s teeth?
You should start brushing your baby’s teeth as soon as the first tooth erupts, around six months of age.
2. What toothpaste should I use?
Use a fluoride toothpaste specifically designed for infants and toddlers. Only use a pea-sized amount.
3. How often should I brush my baby’s teeth?
You should brush your baby’s teeth twice a day, once in the morning and once before bed.
4. What type of toothbrush should I use?
Use a soft-bristled toothbrush specifically designed for infants. Make sure it is small enough to fit comfortably in their mouth.
5. How should I brush my baby’s teeth?
Gently brush your baby’s teeth in a circular motion, paying attention to both the front and back surfaces.
6. Do I need to floss my baby’s teeth?
Once your baby has two teeth that touch, you should start flossing their teeth. Use a floss specially designed for infants.
7. What if my baby doesn’t like brushing?
Make brushing a fun and positive experience by using child-friendly toothbrushes, singing songs, or playing games during brushing time.
8. Should I take my baby to the dentist before their first birthday?
Yes, the AAPD recommends taking your baby for their first dental visit by their first birthday or within six months of their first tooth eruption.
9. Can I use tooth wipes instead of a toothbrush?
Tooth wipes can be used as an alternative if your baby resists brushing, but they should not replace regular brushing with a toothbrush and toothpaste.
10. Can my baby swallow toothpaste?
It is normal for babies to swallow some toothpaste. However, ensure they only use a small amount and encourage them to spit it out as they get older.
11. When should I start using fluoride toothpaste?
Once your baby turns two years old, you can start using a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste.
12. What other oral hygiene practices should I follow?
In addition to brushing, avoid putting your baby to bed with a bottle, clean their gums with a damp cloth before teeth erupt, and promote a healthy diet low in sugary foods and drinks.
When it comes to oral care, starting early is key. By establishing a regular brushing routine and teaching your baby good oral hygiene practices, you are setting them up for a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums. Remember, if you have any concerns or questions, consult with a pediatric dentist who can provide personalized guidance for your child’s dental needs.