When Should Children Start Brushing Their Teeth?
Children's dental health in the long run will greatly depend on the habits they learn during childhood. Therefore, it's very important to teach them good oral health habits starting at around six months old, when they can start brushing their teeth.
Establishing proper oral hygiene is extremely important, even before the first teeth start forming. Before they start growing, it’s important to keep their gums, tongue, and inside of their mouth and teeth clean. To do this, you can use a special brush, gauze or cotton.
Even when they don’t have teeth yet, multiple bacteria and fungi often live in children’s mouths. Therefore, oral hygiene is important to maintain, using tools other than a toothbrush.
Parents, who are responsible for taking care of their children’s hygiene, should be responsible for brushing their teeth until their children have the psychomotor skills to do it themselves. Also, it’s good to start going to the dentist early to prevent cavities and other diseases.
Oral hygiene for healthy and strong teeth
The best thing you can do is start washing your baby’s mouth within his first few days of life. The first step is to clean his gums with wet gauze or a wipe.
Be aware that kids can develop tooth decay as soon as their teeth come in. At six months old, the four front teeth come out of the gums. However, some kids don’t get their first tooth until 12 or 14 months.
If your child is less than three years old, start brushing his teeth gently as soon as they start to come in. You can use a child toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste the size of a grain of rice.
You should brush your child’s teeth twice a day, in the morning and at night, or follow what your dentist or doctor says. When your child is brushing his teeth, make sure to use the right amount of toothpaste for his age.
In addition, to protect their first teeth, it’s best to limit the amount of sugar kids eat. In that sense, it’s best to never let your child have sugary juices. Also, don’t give them food to hold and don’t soak their pacifier in honey or any other sweet liquid.
To prevent cavities, you can brush kids’ teeth twice a day. Brush them after breakfast and before bedtime, as soon as you see their first tooth.
“Be aware that kids can develop tooth decay as soon as their teeth come in.”
When to go to the dentist and how kids can start brushing their teeth
Popular belief says that you should take kids to the dentist for the first time around two years old, when they already have all of their baby teeth. However, new trends show that babies should go to the dentist for the first time around six months old. That way, you can prevent diseases and learn about how to take care of your child’s oral health.
Regarding taking care of their gums, it’s important to clean babies’ mouths with gauze a few days after they’re born. Also, once children have two teeth that touch, they should start flossing daily.
Dentists recommend that, for children under two years old, the parents should brush their teeth. Use a toothpaste with 1000 ppm, parts per million, of fluoride, and using as little toothpaste as possible until they learn to spit. Fluoride toothpaste prevents decay, but can be dangerous if swallowed.
In addition, children’s first toothbrush should be soft and wet with water. However, listen to your doctor or dentist if they say to use fluoride toothpaste to prevent cavities.
For children between ages 3 and 6, it’s best to use a small amount of toothpaste the size of a pea. Make sure to watch your children when they start brushing their teeth to make sure they don’t swallow the toothpaste.
While still in preschool age, adults should be the one to brush children’s teeth. Then, once kids are over 6 years old, they can start brushing their teeth on their own, with adult supervision.
Problems that can happen while brushing teeth
The main problem is using the right amount and strength of fluoride in your toothpaste to prevent cavities. At the same time, make sure to not use fluoride if your child still can’t spit. It’s a substance that can cause fluorosis.
This condition, which attacks the enamel of the teeth and dyes them brown, is more common while teeth are forming. Therefore, there are people who say not to use toothpaste until children are two years old.
However, you need to start preventing cavities as soon as the baby teeth start coming in. Then, use as little toothpaste as possible.
In conclusion, teaching your children good oral health can help protect their teeth in the future. Talking to a professional from the very beginning will be very helpful. In fact, it can even help kids be less afraid of the dentist.