Baby teeth are essential for children's healthy oral development, and for the health of the whole body. That's why brushing them is so important. Here, our Vancouver dentists talk about when you should start brushing your baby's teeth.
While you may not need to use a toothbrush prior to your baby's first teeth erupting, you will still need to clean their mouth and gums daily to help protect their oral health and prevent any future issues from occurring.
Baby teeth usually start to erupt when children are between six and nine months of age. These teeth are very important, as they help your child eat and speak, and eventually guide the adult teeth into the proper spaces.
Before the First Tooth Erupts
Dental care for your little one should begin long before their teeth begin to come in. Each day, you should run a clean, damp washcloth over the gums to wipe away bacteria that could potentially harm your baby's dental health.
Making the cleaning of your baby’s gums a part of your daily routine right from the start will help ensure that, by the time your baby’s first tooth comes in, you and your baby are both already accustomed to regular mouth cleanings. Furthermore, because every baby teethes a bit differently, it can sometimes be difficult for a parent to tell when their baby’s first tooth is beginning to break through.
Once Your Baby's First Tooth Appears
As soon as the first tooth appears, you should start brushing with an infant toothbrush and fluoride-free toothpaste.
Baby teeth must be cleaned on a regular basis because, like adults, infants can get cavities too. Once your child has a tooth, plaque can begin building up on the surface of the tooth and causing decay.
Your child should be brushing at least twice daily in order to best care for their teeth. Your child should begin flossing as soon as two teeth are next to eachother
How To Care For Your Baby's New Teeth
Even babies can develop tooth decay if good habits aren't practiced. By following these oral health tips, you can help your child's baby teeth remain healthy:
- Avoid putting a baby to sleep with a bottle. It might be convenient but can harm the baby's teeth. When sugars from juice or milk sit on a baby's teeth for hours, they can eat away at the enamel, creating a condition known as bottle mouth.
- Teach your children good dental care habits early. When you show them how to take care of their baby teeth you are starting positive habits that will last a lifetime.
- Visit a dentist who provides children's services by the age of one year, or around the time when the first teeth appear. This will help preserve the baby teeth until they are ready to fall out and be replaced by adult teeth.