It is important to start early and develop a good routine, so children get that dental care routine ingrained in them for life.
Important tips on brushing teeth
- Before your baby’s teeth come in, develop the habit of cleaning your baby’s gums after feeding, using a damp clothe.
- Begin brushing your baby’s teeth when their first tooth appears. Use a small soft-bristle brush and water. Use a small amount of toothpaste from age 2-6.Brush twice a day for about two minutes. Don’t forget to brush the tongue and remember to brush where the teeth and gums meet, too!
- Lift your baby’s lip to check for white or brown spots on their teeth. Look closely along the gum line. Go see the dentist if you notice something.
- Once your child has two teeth touching, it is time to begin flossing.Go to the dentist once their first tooth comes in or by their first birthday.
- Change toothbrushes regularly. If the bristles start to bend and flare, it is time to change your toothbrush. A new toothbrush is recommended every 3 months.
- Gums that bleed need more brushing to make them healthy.
- Young children cannot clean their own teeth. Do it for them when they are very young; do it with them as they grow.
- Use toothpaste with fluoride. Fluoride strengthens tooth enamel and helps prevent tooth decay. Be sure they are spitting out the toothpaste and not swallowing it.
- Discourage ongoing nibbling on foods and sipping on drinks between meals and snacks. It causes ongoing acid attacks on teeth, which can cause tooth decay.
- Be a good role model: children want to brush their teeth when they see you brushing your own.