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When Should I Start Brushing My Child's Teeth?

Posted on 8/21/2023 by Cornell Dental
 When Should I Start Brushing My Child's Teeth?One of the most common questions pediatric dentists are asked is at what age parents should begin a dental hygiene program for their child. The answer might surprise you. Rather than waiting until the child has a lot of teeth or until you can reason with the child, you can begin practicing dental hygiene with them before they can walk or talk.

You Can Begin in Infancy

You can actually begin your child's dental hygiene when they are newborns. After each feeding, you can use a damp washcloth to gently wipe their gums. This not only helps to clean their mouths of milk, but it also gets your baby used to the pressure of a tooth-cleaning instrument in their mouths, so it won't be scary.

As your baby begins to cut their teeth, you can get a baby toothbrush with some tooth cleaner- non-fluoride- and begin to brush their newly erupted teeth. Most dentists recommend you use toothpaste specially formulated for infants. Use a very small amount while you're cleaning their teeth.

My Baby Already Has Teeth

It doesn't matter if you're late to the game because it's never too late to begin a good oral hygiene program for your baby or toddler. If you have a toddler, you may want to let them pick out a child's toothbrush they like and a flavor of toothpaste they want. Let them watch you brush and floss your teeth, and then you can practice together. You can encourage your toddler to brush their own teeth and then let you check their teeth for missed spots. Making a game out of it will allow for some fun. Reward your toddler with praise or a small treat, such as a sticker, for their tooth-brushing abilities. Once their tooth brushing becomes a routine part of their day, you are well on your way to giving your toddler great oral hygiene for life.
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Cornell Dental, 5880 NE Cornell Rd. Suite A, Hillsboro, OR 97124 / (971) 397-6196 / / 7/18/2024 / Tags: dentist Hillsboro OR /