When your baby gets his or her first tooth, they usually let you know it loud and clear. From drooling and thumb-sucking to crying out in pain, your baby goes through a bit of grief to get those first few chompers.
And while baby teeth are an important tool for eating solid foods, you know they’re going to start falling out around the time your child starts kindergarten. Do you need to worry about brushing them?
Yes! Here’s why brushing baby teeth is so important: Even though they’re temporary, your child needs them to stick around until the mature teeth are ready to come in. Bad hygiene can lead to tooth decay, and losing teeth prematurely can lead to crooked teeth, speech development problems, and poor nutrition. That is why it important to practice dental care early to keep baby teeth healthy.
When Should I Start Brushing My Baby’s Teeth?
Oral health care should begin as soon as your baby is born. You can start by gently wiping the gums clean with water and a washcloth. Then, when the first tooth comes through, it’s time to start brushing with fluoride toothpaste, using an amount only the size of a grain of rice.
Should You Brush Baby’s Gums?
Yes, brushing gums is an important part of baby teeth cleaning, but you’ll want to be very careful. Gums can tear and bleed if you brush too hard. Before your baby gets teeth, you can clean the gums after feedings to prevent bacterial growth. A washcloth and water are all it takes to do the job.
After teeth start coming in, use a toothbrush and toothpaste to clean the gums along with the teeth.
What Kind of Products Should You Use on Your Baby’s Teeth?
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends using a small, soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste for baby teeth care. You should only use a rice grain-sized amount of toothpaste before your child is three years old. Then, graduate to a pea-sized amount when the child turns three.
When to Schedule a Baby’s First Dental Appointment
Good dental habits should be taught to children at a young age. It’s best to schedule a baby’s first dental appointment within six months after his or her first tooth comes in. Your dentist can then check for cavities and demonstrate how to properly brush your child’s teeth.
Schedule a Cleaning for Your Child
Now that you know why brushing baby teeth is so important, it’s time to schedule a visit to the dentist. South Temple Dental serves children and adults in the Salt Lake City area. Contact us to schedule your child’s first dental visit today.