There are so many exciting moments to anticipate when you have a new baby, including the baby’s first tooth! However, the appearance of teeth in a baby’s mouth also means it’s officially time to start thinking about their dental hygiene. How do you know when to start brushing baby teeth?
When to Start Brushing Baby Teeth
When you think about baby book milestones, a baby’s first tooth is definitely one to celebrate. It means your child is one step closer to so many other exciting milestones: speech, eating solid food, and yes, that first visit to the pediatric dentist. Even though baby teeth do fall out eventually, failing to take care of them properly can lead to issues like speech delays and malnutrition for your child. Dental hygiene is important at any age, and it’s never too early for kids to start learning. You don’t want the next milestone to be your baby’s first cavity. So, how do you know when to start brushing baby teeth?
Don’t Wait on Dental Hygiene
It can be hard to predict when a baby’s teeth are going to come in. Some babies are born with a few teeth already, while others take up to six months before teeth start appearing in their mouths. Whether teeth are present in a child’s mouth or not, it’s important not to neglect their dental hygiene.
If you’re worried about starting brushing too early, think again. Did you know that pediatricians recommend “brushing” your baby’s gums before teeth even come in? Pediatricians recommend cleaning a baby’s gums after every feeding to avoid bacterial buildup and promote good oral health for the child. Since a bristled toothbrush can cause a child discomfort if they don’t have teeth, a finger brush can be a great alternative.
However, once that first tooth appears, it’s time to bring a toothbrush into the mix. It’s important to remember that while a baby is teething, child and adult toothbrushes will be too large and uncomfortable for their mouths. Instead, when your child begins teething, you’ll want to purchase a soft-bristled baby toothbrush. Use this with a small smear of fluoridated toothpaste to brush your baby’s teeth in the morning, at bedtime, and after meals. Check out our blog post How to Brush a Baby’s Teeth for more tips.
Sometimes brushing a baby’s teeth can be difficult if they are teething. They may experience some soreness and discomfort in their gums, and that might make them reluctant to allow their teeth to be brushed. If this is the case with your child, be patient and gentle, and do your best to have them stick to the routine.
When Will My Child Be Ready for a Toothbrush of Their Own?
As your baby gets older, they may want to start brushing their teeth on their own. This is a great sign that they’re starting to learn about dental hygiene! If they’re old enough to comfortably hold and use a toothbrush, you can purchase a child’s toothbrush with fun colors or characters they like, and let them start brushing their own teeth at least once a day. Be sure to set a good example by letting them watch you brush your own teeth, and be encouraging when they attempt to do the same. As your child watches you brush your teeth, they’ll learn about dental hygiene and why it’s an important habit to keep for life. You should also be sure to inspect your baby’s teeth after every solo brushing, as kids often take time to learn how to brush their teeth well. Be patient and encouraging and express pride in how grown up they are, and before you know it, they’ll be brushing every day.
Now that you know when to start brushing baby teeth, it’s time to start thinking about your baby’s first dentist appointment. Why not schedule with us today?
If you’re looking for an experienced, reliable, and friendly dentist 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!