Baby Oral Care
Even before the first tooth appears, use a soft, clean cloth to wipe your baby's gums and cheeks after feeding. As soon as the first tooth appears, begin using a small, soft bristled toothbrush to clean the tooth after eating. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentists recommends a tiny smear of fluoridated paste when brushing baby’s teeth twice daily.
Young Children Oral Care
It is suggested to brush your child’s teeth at least twice a day. Letting your little one have a turn includes them in the process, but then you finishing up as the parent, assures the job gets done properly. Dexterity can still be an issue as old as 7 or 8 years old. Help teach your child the proper way to brush and as they become more independent, continue to monitor their brushing technique.
Some important tips to remember about brushing and flossing:
- Start out brushing for about 1 ½ minutes and work up to 2 minutes.
- Choose a toothbrush with soft, round-tipped bristles, made for children. Electric toothbrushes can be started around 4 years of age and are an excellent choice.
- When the toothbrush bristles become bent or frayed, a new brush is needed or after 3 months. (It is common for children to chew on brushes, but try to redirect them towards the brushing motion.)
- Flossing is recommended one time a day when the teeth begin to touch each other as they’re erupting into the mouth
- Move from a smear of fluoridated paste to pea sized when your child is between 3 and 6 years of age or when they understand how to spit out the toothpaste.