Keeping Baby Teeth Healthy:
1. Assist – most children can’t clean their teeth adequately until they can write.
2. Don’t use adult toothpaste before the age of six
3. Brush teeth twice a day, in the morning and before bedtime.
Need some additional help or advice? Call your dentist at SoCal Dental Care today for additional tips and tricks to keep your baby’s teeth healthy.
When should I start brushing my baby’s teeth?
Start cleaning your baby’s teeth twice a day as soon as you see his first little tooth bud emerging. If you start early, your baby will get used to having his teeth cleaned. It is very important to start early and keeping baby teeth healthy.
Your baby will eventually have 20 baby teeth, all of which should be through by the time he is about two-and-a-half years old. It may seem a long way off now, but it’s best to carry on brushing your child’s teeth for him until he’s at least seven. By that age, he should be able to do it properly for himself.
Do I need to buy a toothbrush for my baby?
Pick a toothbrush with soft nylon bristles and a small head. This will allow you to reach all parts of your baby’s mouth easily and comfortably as each new tooth emerges.
Replace your baby’s toothbrush regularly, about every one month to three months. If the bristles start to spread out, it’s a sign that the toothbrush needs changing.
What kind of toothpaste is best for my baby?
Look for a toothpaste made for babies and containing fluoride, which helps to prevent tooth decay. Check the packaging for fluoride levels to make sure you’re buying the right toothpaste for your baby:
- Under-threes should use a lower-fluoride toothpaste, though it should still contain at least 1,000ppm (parts per million) of fluoride.
- Your child won’t be old enough to share your ordinary family toothpaste, containing between 1,350ppm and 1,500ppm of fluoride, until he’s about six years old.
How often do I clean my baby’s teeth?
Try to get into the habit of brushing your baby’s teeth twice a day. Do it once in the morning, at a time that fits in with your usual routine. The second clean should be before bed, after your baby’s had his last drink.
You may find that sitting your baby on your lap, facing away from you, helps you reach his teeth more easily.
Brush with small, gentle circular movements, concentrating on the area where the teeth and gums meet. Remember that during teething, your baby’s gums will feel tender, so be very gentle.
When you’ve finished, make sure your baby spits out the excess toothpaste, but don’t rinse his mouth with water. Leaving a bit of toothpaste residue on the teeth makes the toothpaste work better.
If your baby dislikes having his teeth brushed and squirms away, try giving him his own toothbrush to hold. This way he’s more likely to feel in control. You can even let him have a go himself, though he’ll need help from you for a while yet.
When should I take my baby to the dentist?
At first, take your baby along to your own dental appointments. That way he’ll get to know the sights, sounds, smells and routine of your dental surgery.
If you get anxious about going to the dentist, make a separate appointment for your baby instead. Then he won’t pick up on your fears.
How else can I protect my baby’s teeth?
The main cause of tooth decay is sugar. It’s not just the amount of sugar that can be harmful, but how often it’s eaten or drunk throughout the day.
Every time your baby has something sugary, it starts to break down the mineral surface of his teeth. Your baby’s teeth can recover after eating something sugary, but it can take hours. If your baby has something sweet at regular intervals throughout the day, his teeth won’t have time to repair themselves.