So, your child’s teeth just started to come in. We know that this can be an exciting milestone for parents. Of course, this also means considering your child’s oral health. Just as you brush and floss your teeth every day, you will now need to begin brushing your child’s teeth. While the techniques and practices will be a bit different and probably less time-consuming (seeing as your child probably only has one or two teeth at the moment), here are some tips for how to brush your child’s teeth properly,
- Even before your child’s teeth start to erupt it’s important to keep their gums healthy and clean by wiping them with a soft, damp cloth after each feeding and right before bedtime. Your child will get their first tooth between 6-14 months.
- Yes, even children’s teeth can develop decay. As soon as the tooth is formed it can develop decay, so it’s important that you start brushing it as soon as you see it.
- Purchase a child-sized toothbrush from your local drugstore and wet the soft-bristled toothbrush with water to brush your child’s tooth or teeth (at this point you don’t need toothpaste).
- Your child won’t start needing toothpaste until they are 2 years old. From 2-3 years old your child only needs toothpaste the size of a grain of rice in order to clean their teeth. After 3 years old, you can upgrade to a pea-sized amount of toothpaste.
- Just as you do for your own teeth, you should also brush your child’s teeth twice a day (once in the morning and again at night right before going to bed).
- Use soft, circular motions when brushing the teeth and the gums. Again, just as you do your own teeth, you should brush for a minimum of two minutes. Don’t forget to brush their tongue and roof of their mouth, too.
- We know that your child may not fully understand the brushing process, so it’s a good idea to tell them what you are doing and the importance of brushing their teeth. Even though they can’t brush their own teeth yet it’s still great to show them how to brush so that when it’s time to start brushing their own teeth they understand how to do it.
- Most children can start brushing their teeth around 7-8 years old, but still need to be supervised by an adult until around 10-11 years old.
Have questions about caring for your baby’s developing smile? Keeping your child’s smile healthy is so important for their development and practicing good oral hygiene at home will ensure that your child’s smile stays healthy.