When your baby’s first tooth starts growing in, the first thing you will do is go grab the camera and capture that moment forever! And the next thing you should do is start thinking about good oral hygiene. You play a huge role in your child’s oral health—it all starts with you!
Introducing healthy habits early in infancy can make a significant difference when it comes to the health of your child’s teeth. Start developing habits of decay prevention now!
Should I Brush my Infant’s Teeth?
Infants do not need their teeth brushed, but parents should clean the teeth with a wet washcloth or soft brush. There are specific infant toothbrushes made to fit on your finger. Gently brush around the teeth and over the gums to prevent decay.
Rinsing Your Infant’s Teeth
Parents need to be extra vigilant with their kids who love drinking juice or milk. Long-term exposure to the sugars in milk, juice, and formula can lead to cavities. Have your kids rinse with water after they drink, which will prevent sugars from sticking to teeth.
Prevent Thumb Sucking
Another infant teeth issue that we see here at Redwood Dentistry is infant thumb sucking. Thumb sucking can lead to problems with the way your child’s teeth grow. Try to help your child avoid thumb sucking. We suggest that infants stop using pacifiers past their first birthday, because pacifiers also affect teeth growth.
When Should My Child Visit the Dentist?
Every child should visit the dentist around six months old, or when the child’s first tooth has erupted. The first visit helps children become comfortable visiting the dentist. During that first visit, we will also help you know how to care for your child’s teeth to prevent cavities.
When Should I Start Using Toothpaste on my Child?
Typically, it is good for a child to start using toothpaste with fluoride around age 2. However, every baby’s mouth develops at a different pace. Bring your child in for a visit, and we will examine teeth and gums to help you know exactly when it time for your child to start using toothpaste.
When your child is ready for brushing, use a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoridated toothpaste.
Starting Brushing Habits Early
Start cleaning your child’s teeth at six months old or younger. This way, your child will grow up with a routine of brushing each morning and evening. With this good habit, children by age 5 will be able to brush their teeth independently.
Until your child is 5, we recommend close supervision of your child’s brushing habits. It’s hard for kids to clean between teeth and within the deep fissures of the teeth where plaque loves to stick.
Be a Good Example
If you want these good oral health habits to continue as your child grows, it starts with you! Show your children healthy brushing and flossing habits, and they are likely to follow suit. Brushing and flossing with your children can be a fun daily routine which helps you ensure that your children’s teeth are getting the care they need!
Visit the Dentist
Your child’s oral hygiene is a top priority, for you and for us! We want to help you start today to make your baby’s mouth healthy! If you have questions about your baby’s first teeth, give us a call at (801) 281-8881.
You can take the first steps today to prevent your baby’s teeth from early decay by visiting us here at Redwood Pediatric Dentistry. Please stop in at the office and come see us, or you can schedule an appointment here through our website.