Catching a glimpse of a white tooth making its way through your baby’s gums is an exciting moment as a parent. While your baby might be a little fussy during the teething stage, the arrival of healthy teeth signals that you’re giving your baby the right nutrients. As a good parent, you should start taking care of your baby’s teeth the moment they start to grow. Just keep in mind that babies’ teeth and gums are much more sensitive than even a toddler’s. If you want to set your child up for a healthy oral future, it’s important that you learn how to brush a baby’s teeth properly.
How to Brush a Baby’s Teeth
Dental Care for 0-6 Months
Before your infant starts growing their first few teeth, focus on their gum health. During this stage, you won’t need a toothbrush or even toothpaste. Simply take a clean, damp piece of gauze or a soft washcloth and wipe down your baby’s gums after feedings and before bedtime.
This is also the right time to start working on other good oral hygiene habits that will be very important during their toddler years. For example, don’t let your baby fall asleep sucking on a bottle. Instead, use a pacifier. Giving your child a bottle of milk before bed will allow the liquid to pool in his or her mouth and damage the teeth.
Dental Care for 6 Months to 2 Years
A baby’s first tooth normally makes its appearance when the baby is around 6 months old. At this stage, you should continue caring for your baby’s gums as you did during his or her first months of life. However, you should also start using a soft baby toothbrush and baby toothpaste to care for your child’s first few teeth. Choose a toothbrush with a thick handle (so you can control it easily) and a small head. You’ll only need a little toothpaste, about a rice-sized amount. Then, softly brush your child’s teeth using circular motions. Make sure to brush each side of the individual teeth.
Dental Care for 2 Years and Up
By age two, your toddler should have most of their baby teeth. During this time, continue to use the same methods to brush their teeth, but start using a pea-sized amount of toothpaste. It’s also time to start flossing your child’s teeth each day, using soft floss made specifically for children. Although you should continue to brush your toddler’s teeth yourself, let your child take a few moments to practice brushing their own teeth. Most children should be able to brush their own teeth by age 6 and floss by age 8.
Why You Should Brush Your Baby’s Teeth
Some parents wonder if it is truly important to brush a baby’s teeth. Remember that how you treat an infant’s teeth in their earliest stages of life plays a role in their future oral health. Even though your child will eventually get new adult teeth, it doesn’t happen all at once. Unhealthy baby teeth that harbor bacteria can damage your child’s new adult teeth. Plus, brushing a child’s teeth regularly encourages a lifelong healthy habit.
Learning how to brush a baby’s teeth is just one piece of the puzzle. Partnering with your family dentist to care for your baby’s teeth can help ensure that their smile stays healthy for years to come.
Are you looking for an experienced, reliable, and friendly dentist for your child? If you live in or near Springfield, Missouri, contact Wilkinson Dental. Dr. Wilkinson and his team will give you the personalized treatment you deserve using state-of-the-art technology. For exceptional and comprehensive dental care, schedule your first appointment today by calling 417-708-0556 or requesting an appointment online. We look forward to hearing from you!