We receive a lot of questions from parents about brushing their baby’s teeth like: When do you start brushing baby teeth? How do you brush baby teeth? What do I do if my baby hates getting their teeth brushed? We’re here to answer all your questions!
Most parents don’t know that they should be cleaning their baby’s mouth at just a few days old! Tooth decay can begin as soon as the very first tooth breaks through your baby’s gums. Here are some tips about how to get started caring for your baby’s teeth.
Should I brush my infant’s gums?
You may not need to start brushing with a toothbrush or toothpaste until your baby’s teeth begin to erupt, but you should clean your baby’s gums on a daily basis. The American Dental Association recommends cleaning your baby’s gums regularly, beginning just a few days after birth.
Start to make cleaning of your baby’s gums a part of your daily routine right from the start so that by the time your baby’s first tooth comes in, you and your baby are already accustomed to regular mouth cleanings. To clean your baby’s gums, gently wipe the gums with a clean damp washcloth or infant toothbrush. If your child is teething, consider refrigerating or freezing the damp washcloth for a few minutes. The cold temperature can soothe your baby’s sore gums. If you have a wiggly baby, consider sitting down on the floor and having your baby lay down between your legs so that their head is close to your lap.
When do you start brushing baby teeth?
Many parents are unsure about when to start brushing baby teeth. A child’s first tooth often erupts around six months old. As soon as your child has a tooth, plaque can begin building up on the surface of the tooth causing decay. As a result, the ADA recommends that you start brushing your child’s teeth as soon as the first tooth comes in.
Brushing a young child’s teeth isn’t always easy but it is essential to establish and maintain a good oral health routine to keep your child’s mouth healthy and prevent potentially serious infections. We encourage you to never give up on keeping your child’s mouth clean and free of disease.
How to brush baby teeth
Use a small-headed, soft-bristled toothbrush to brush your child’s teeth. Twice a day – in the morning and before bed – apply a thin coating of toothpaste to the brush (the size of a grain of rice), place the brush at a 45 degree angle and gently brush in a circular motion for two minutes. Once your child is 3 years old you can increase the amount of toothpaste to a pea-sized amount. If your baby has any two teeth touching, you should also make sure to floss between them at least once a day.
If you have any questions about baby teeth and introducing their oral health routine, schedule a checkup with Hersch Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics.