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IT’S IMPORTANT TO HAVE healthy teeth and gums at any age, but how early should you start to think about your child’s oral health? It may be sooner than you think!
Proper Oral Health Care Starts At The Beginning
Infants usually begin teething between six and twelve months old, and caring for your child’s teeth should begin immediately when their pearly whites become visible. Even baby teeth can develop early childhood caries (cavities), and treatment can often be an uncomfortable experience.
This is why it’s important to get your child started on a good oral health regimen before their teeth fully erupt.
No Teeth Doesn’t Mean No Bacteria
Even as his or her first little teeth begin to sprout, oral bacteria begin to settle around their teeth and gums. An infant’s currently erupting teeth do not need a toothbrush, but they do still need to be cleaned. This can be done simply by wiping their gums with a wet washcloth or moistened gauze. Wiping the gums is enough to knock off stubborn plaque and keep their incoming teeth clean
Choose The Right Toothbrush When The Time Is Right
Once your baby’s first teeth have erupted completely, it is time to introduce an appropriate toothbrush. When choosing your child’s first toothbrush, you should be sure it’s soft,small-headed, and wide-handled.
Children younger than three should use only a smear of fluoride toothpaste. Once they are a little older, a pea-sized amount may be introduced. If your child has trouble spitting out their toothpaste after brushing or if you’re concerned with them swallowing too much, there are plenty of fluoride-free options you can use until they are ready for fluoridated toothpaste.
We’re Here To Help!
Whether you’re wiping their gums or helping them use their first toothbrush, cleaning your child’s teeth should still take place twice per day—especially after eating and before bed. This will help them develop good dental hygiene habits that will help support a lifetime of good oral health.
If you have questions about when to get your baby started with their first toothbrush, feel free to schedule an appointment! We’d love to talk with your about your child’s particular dental needs and help them on their way to a lifetime of excellent oral health.
Thanks for being a part of our practice family!
Image by Flickr user Andrew Goodall used underCreative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.
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