At what age should we start brushing my child’s teeth?
Before any teeth have erupted, Dr. Jarrett recommends wiping your child’s gums with a soft wet washcloth before bed. The goal of this is to clean out their gums and to provide a healthy mouth even before teeth have started to come in. Even before any teeth have erupted, this is an important part of having good oral hygiene.
After their first tooth arrives, it is a good time to start brushing with a small soft toothbrush. Often your child’s first tooth will arrive between 9 and 15 months. While it may seem insignificant when they only have one or a few teeth, it is important to start brushing correctly. It also does not matter what type of foods they are eating at that age. Starting to brush their teeth right away when they are young helps establish a healthy habit, which will make it becomes a regular part of their daytime routine by the time they are a toddler. When your child starts to get older and is only eating solid foods, it is recommended to start brushing their teeth in the morning and after eating any sugary foods.
Often a difficult but essential part of helping your child have a healthy mouth is to avoid letting them have sugary snacks or drinks. Drinks such as juice or soda already have high sugar content, but when they are put into sippy cups and drunk over a long period, it can have even more of an effect on their developing teeth. Although they will eventually lose their baby teeth, the cavities on those teeth can negatively affect their permanent teeth which are developing in their gums.
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