April 27, 2021
Every good parent wants their child to grow up happy and healthy. There will come a time when your children are old enough to care for themselves, but until then, they rely on you to help them maintain good hygiene. That includes their teeth! This begs the question: how soon is too soon to start cleaning them? Your Ridgefield dentist has the answer.
When Should You Start Cleaning Your Child’s Teeth?
The truth is, it’s really never too early to start cleaning your baby’s mouth. Obviously, until their baby teeth come in, there won’t exactly be anything to “brush,” but it’s still important to keep your child’s gums clean along with their baby teeth as soon as they start to emerge. Here are some ways you can set your child’s smile up for success from the very start:
Clean Their Gums
Keeping your child’s gums clean is just as important as keeping their teeth in good shape. If bacteria are not removed from them regularly, they can infiltrate the soft tissues and cause infection. You can use a warm wet cloth to gently rub around their gums and remove any bacteria that may be present. Once their baby teeth begin to come in, there will likely be soreness involved, so it’s important to continue using something that won’t cause undue pressure when cleaning.
Ask Your Dentist When You Should Switch to a Toothbrush
There’s a good chance that your dentist will recommend that you start using a toothbrush on your child’s teeth once their entire bottom row come in, or around the ages of 2 or 3. Of course, this will vary for some children, so it’s always best to seek the opinion of a professional.
Choose the Right Toothbrush
The enamel on your child’s baby teeth will be far more susceptible to wear and tear than their adult teeth. This is why it’s important to choose a child-appropriate toothbrush with soft bristles. Another tip you can use to soften the bristles, even more, is to soak them in warm water for a couple of minutes prior to brushing your child’s teeth.
Stress the Importance of Oral Care, and Lead by Example
One of the best things you can do to set your child’s smile up for success, in the long run, is to instill within them the importance of regular oral maintenance. You are your child’s greatest teacher, and if they see you flossing and brushing daily, and making time to see your dentist for regular checkups, they will learn by your example.
The sooner you start to protect your child’s teeth and gums against bacteria and decay and teach them the importance of oral health, the better off their smiles will be. Make sure to ask your dentist for more recommendations.
About the Author
When it comes to the highest caliber of pediatric dental care, you won’t find a better team than Dr. Dana C. Jones and Dr. Josephine A. Franzese at Ridgefield Perfect Smile Center. They believe that the best oral health starts with educating their patients and their parents about how to take care of their smiles. They are passionate about giving children the tools they need to do it, and they love building long-lasting relationships. Are you ready to schedule your child’s next dental checkup? Request an appointment online or call us at (203) 438-8919.
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