A common question that new parents have once their children start to get teeth is when should I start brushing my child’s teeth. Cleaning the mouth of a child with brushing, flossing, and fluoride all start at different stages in the child’s development. In this blog, we will answer the question of when should I start brushing my child’s teeth and other common questions that come with pediatric oral care.
When Is The Right Time To Start Brushing My Child’s Teeth?
Children typically start teething around 4 to 6 months old. Some children are different but once you start to notice a tooth poking through or the child gets extra fussy, you need to prepare to start brushing their teeth. Once babies and toddlers have visible teeth, you should be brushing.
Brushing too late can lead to cavities and build-up on these small teeth and limit good oral health for children. Developing the habit and getting them used to the sensation early on will help you have less resistance as they get older.
Should I Let My Child Brush Their Own Teeth?
During the first few months after teeth have appeared, it is best for parents to brush the child’s teeth for them. Parents may ask, is brushing my child’s teeth for them going to limit their learning? The short answer is no, but as a child learns fine motor skills and starts to have a consistent routine, they should start brushing with adult supervision.
I Am Brushing My Child’s Teeth, But What About Flossing?
Flossing is important when teeth are close together and the gaps can not be cleaned with just brushing. When baby teeth start to fill in and the gaps between teeth start to get smaller, it is time to help the child floss. Most children need proper flossing between the ages of 2 through 6. This is also a good time to start taking your child to a pediatric dentist. The dentist can help monitor your child’s teeth and help you know when to start flossing.
Should I Give My Child Fluoride?
For homes that have fluoridated water, some children may be able to start fluoride later in their childhood, but you should always follow the advice of your dentist. Children between the age of 6 months and 16 years need fluoride daily. Fluoride helps to prevent tooth decay and ensures teeth are strong for all different activities.
Tips To Start Brushing My Child’s Teeth
When it is time to start brushing your child’s teeth, there are some tips you can use to help make the process easier. Helping children learn the habit and utilizing the right technique is important to great oral health into adulthood.
Getting your child to sit or stand still for brushing can be difficult. Putting your child knee to knee with you can help you clearly see their teeth and if you are cleaning them properly. You can also stand or kneel behind them so they can see themselves in the mirror and help them visualize the proper way to brush.
Using a rice grain-sized amount of toothpaste is plenty for small children. Using too much can lead to them swallowing too much and lead to health concerns.
To keep children’s attention playing fun songs or singing with them can help the time pass faster when brushing. There are also songs specifically about brushing that can help children know the importance of brushing from an early age.
When you are ready to start flossing your children’s teeth there are floss picks that are designed specifically for kids. Using these can help you have a more beneficial flossing routine when children’s teeth are tiny or standing still for flossing is not possible.
General Dentistry With Mills River Dental
Our dental office strives to help patients of different ages have the best oral health. This includes practicing proper brushing habits, having dental checkups regularly, flossing, and eating healthy foods. Mills River Family Dental offers a variety of dental services to help you limit tooth decay and feel confident in your smile.
Our dentists can help give parents advice on brushing children’s teeth, foods that damage their tooth enamel, and recommended timelines for dental visits. Check out our blog for answers to common dental questions and fill out a form on our website to schedule an appointment.