Give your child the gift of a great smile. Start good dental habits early so that they can reap the results. Parents need to step up while their infants are unable to take care of themselves. It's not much work, but you do have to be consistent about it. Read on to learn more about proper timing, necessary tools, and suggested processes.
When is the Right Time to Start Brushing?
A lot of parents wait for their child to grow a full set of teeth before they worry about brushing. However, the reality is that oral hygiene care should begin much earlier. Remember that the gums need your attention as well. Doting parents can perform gum brushing while waiting for the first tooth to appear. It prevents future teeth damage and instills the habit.
Teeth may take 4 to 12 months to arrive, depending on the child's physical development. Once teeth pop up above the gum line, brush these at least twice a day for about 2 minutes each time. Expel traces of food and milk to prevent bacteria from growing inside. Make sure to brush the child's teeth after their last meal, so that they can go to bed with a clean mouth.
What Tools Do You Need to Use?
For gum brushing, use a wet soft cloth or a small finger brush to wipe the baby gums. Just get the bristles wet with water. There are specially designed products to make this easier.
Once teeth arrive, shift to a child-sized toothbrush with soft bristles to prevent gum irritation. Using a longer brush also protects parents against accidental bites from the growing incisors.
Fluoride toothpaste can be used even for young children. However, reduce the amount to a grain of rice for a toddler under 3yrs old to avoid upset stomach. Teach them to spit it out and angle their mouth downward to the sink.
As you can see, it is never too early for good oral habits. Just do what's appropriate at each stage of development. Be patient in teaching your kid about dental care. If you have specific concerns, consult a pediatric dentist.