Everyone knows that taking good care of their teeth is essential for oral health and hygiene, but most people don’t realize how much of an influence they have over their children’s future oral health. When a parent starts proper oral care early, their children are much more likely to go through life with a fresh and happy mouth; setting a good foundation and instilling healthy oral habits in your children is an easy way to help them for the rest of their lives.
When Should You Start?
When it comes to children and good oral care, you really can’t start too early. If your baby’s teeth haven’t started coming in yet, you can still get them in the habit of brushing their teeth by gently massaging their gums with gauze or a wet cloth. A few simple wipes during bath time removes germs and bacteria, and it gets your baby used to manual cleaning; this leads to an easier transition down the road when they need to switch to a toothbrush.
Remember, don’t brush too hard. Bacteria don’t harm your child’s gums at this point, but you should be doing this to get them used to the brushing motion, so be delicate and make the process enjoyable for your child.
When Do You Start With A Toothbrush?
Children’s teeth usually start to come in when they are about six months old, but some children don’t develop teeth until they are 15 months or older; every child is different, and you’ll need to keep an eye on your child’s mouth to figure out when their first tooth starts coming in.
When you notice the first tooth, you should start brushing it immediately. Choose a soft toothbrush that has a small head, but make sure that you get a brush that you can grip comfortably; this gives you control, and it allows you to brush your child’s tooth from different angles.
Use a very small amount of fluoride toothpaste when brushing; we recommend brushing the tooth (or teeth) twice a day. Brush your child’s tongue as well. This helps remove bacteria, and it keeps your child’s mouth healthy. Most experts believe that you don’t need to rinse your child’s mouth out after brushing because you use such a small amount of toothpaste.
Don’t forget to replace your child’s toothbrush as soon as the bristles start to get worn. This ensures a good cleaning, and it minimizes the bacteria that grow on your child’s toothbrush.
What About Fluoride?
Your child’s teeth can definitely benefit from a little fluoride; it’s a mineral that prevents tooth decay while strengthening your child’s enamel. You don’t really have to have to go out of your way to supplement fluoride for your child; it can be found in most tap water and almost every single toothpaste on the market today.
If you aren’t sure about your town’s tap water, call up your local government to find out for sure. If your water does have fluoride in it, then your child shouldn’t have a problem getting all the fluoride that they need. Whatever you do, don’t overdo it with the fluoride; an overabundance of the mineral can lead to a condition called Fluorosis. This condition leaves white spots on your child’s teeth when they grow up.
Don’t Forget Check Ups
Experts agree that children need to visit the dentist within six months of their first tooth breaking. We at Kids Dental Specialists are a leading source for dentistry in young children. We deal exclusively with kids, and we know exactly what we are doing when it comes to your child’s health. We can work with you to put together a plan of action for your child that will keep their oral health in tip-top shape for the rest of their lives.
Kids Dental Specialists proudly serves families in the Chino/Chino Hills, CA area. Visit our Appointment page or call us at 909-591-0077 to schedule your next appointment.