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When To Start Brushing Your Babies’ Teeth?

January 30, 2024
When To Start Brushing

You want your child to experience a lifetime of oral and dental wellness. One step you can take to optimize their dental health is to brush their teeth for them until they’re old enough to do so themselves.

The following overview explains when to start doing this. If you have any additional questions about the topic, be sure to bring them up with your baby’s pediatric dentist.

Start Brushing Your Babies’ Teeth Right Away

As soon as a tooth appears, it may be vulnerable to dental decay. The American Dental Association thus recommends that parents begin brushing their children’s teeth right away when they erupt. Brush your child’s teeth twice a day (once in the morning and once in the evening) for ideal protection against cavities and other such dental health issues.

When Can My Child Begin Brushing Their Own Teeth?

There’s no universal answer to this question. Consult with your child’s dentist to learn more about when they may be ready to brush their teeth on their own. That said, a rule of thumb some suggest is that a child can begin brushing their own teeth once they’re able to tie their own shoes.

However, you can allow your child to attempt to brush their own teeth under your supervision before they’re old enough to brush their teeth independently. Supervising your child gives you the chance to teach them proper technique and to correct any bad habits early.

Tips for Brushing a Child’s Teeth

The best source of information for suggestions regarding how to properly brush your child’s baby teeth is their dentist. Be sure to ask about this during your child’s next dental visit if you haven’t already. Along with demonstrating how to brush your kid’s teeth, their dentist might also recommend the best toothpaste and toothbrush to use.

In the meantime, keep the following general tips for brushing a child’s teeth in mind:

  • Until your child reaches the age of three, you only need to use an amount of toothpaste equal to the approximate size of a grain of rice when brushing their teeth.
  • Explain to your child why you are brushing their teeth. Your goal is to ensure your child thoroughly understands and appreciates the importance of dental care.
  • Brush all the surfaces of your child’s teeth. They need to learn that brushing thoroughly is key to proper brushing.
  • Don’t wait until your child’s first tooth erupts to begin caring for their oral health. Even if your child doesn’t have any teeth yet, you may nevertheless use a clean and moist washcloth to clean their gums. Or, you can use a gauze pad.

Keep in mind that children often learn their values from observing their parents. Make sure you’re staying on top of your own oral and dental care, and let your child see that you’re doing so. Research indicates that children who are aware their parents practice good oral health habits are more likely to experience quality oral health themselves.

Ask Your Child’s Dentist for More Information

Again, if you still have questions about how and when to start brushing a child’s teeth, discuss the topic with their dentist. By following the advice here and coordinating with a dental professional, you can be confident you’re taking the right steps to maintain your baby’s dental health.

Schedule a Pediatric Dental Appointment

At Kids & Teens Dental Place, with locations in Houston, TX and Pearland, TX, our team will gladly teach you all you need to know about caring for your child’s teeth. Get started today by contacting us online or calling us at 713-413-8282 (Pearland location) or 713-662-3199 (Houston location) to schedule an appointment today.

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