Baby teeth are an essential part of your child's development and overall health. Caring for these new teeth is incredibly important. Here, our Family Dental Care - College Heights dentists discuss when you should start brushing your baby's teeth.
You should begin brushing and wiping down your baby's gums from the very start.
Your baby's teeth will typically begin to appear once your child is between six and nine months of age. These baby teeth are incredibly important for helping your child eat and speak, and eventually guide the adult teeth into the proper spaces.
Before Any Teeth Erupt
Proper dental care actually begins before your child's first tooth appears. You should be using a clean, damp washcloth on the gums to wipe away harmful bacteria every single day.
Making the cleaning of your baby’s gums a part of your daily routine right from the start will help ensure that, by the time your baby’s first tooth comes in, you and your baby are already used to routine oral care. Furthermore, because every baby teethes a bit differently, it can sometimes be difficult for a parent to tell when their baby’s first tooth is beginning to breakthrough.
Once the First Tooth Erupts
As soon as the first tooth appears, you should start brushing with an infant toothbrush and fluoride-free toothpaste.
Baby teeth must be cleaned on a regular basis because, like adults, infants can get cavities too. Once your child has a tooth, plaque can begin building up on the surface of the tooth and causing decay.
It is highly recommended for children to brush at least twice a day – once in the morning and once before bed. Flossing can begin once your child has two teeth side-by-side.
Caring For Your Baby's First Teeth
If proper oral hygiene practices are not followed from the start your baby will even be susceptible to tooth decay and oral diseases. By following these oral health tips, you can help your child's baby teeth remain healthy:
- Do not allow your baby to fall asleep with a bottle. It might be convenient but can harm the baby's teeth. When sugars from juice or milk sit on a baby's teeth for hours, they can eat away at the enamel, creating a condition known as bottle mouth.
- It is important to instill good oral hygiene habits from the very beginning of your child's life. When you show them how to take care of their baby teeth you are starting positive habits that will last a lifetime.
- Visit a dentist who provides children's services by the age of one year, or around the time when the first teeth appear. This will help preserve the baby teeth until they are ready to fall out and be replaced by the adult teeth.