When should I take my child to their first dental appointment?
It’s recommended to take your child to their first dental appointment by their first birthday, even though they might only have a handful of teeth.
How should I handle oral hygiene for a baby that doesn’t have teeth yet?
Even when your little one doesn’t have their teeth, gum health is still important. You can take a damp cloth (or a wet toothbrush with soft bristles) and rub their gums after feedings. When they do start to show their first teeth, be even more mindful of cleansing to prevent tooth decay (those first teeth are susceptible!). It’s also important not to have them go to bed with anything other than water, because milk and juice can cause cavities and sometimes if they keep the bottle in their mouth for too long (often for comfort) it can cause problems.
When should I start brushing my child’s teeth with toothpaste?
After you start to notice that most of their baby teeth have grown in (usually around 1.5 or 2 years of age). You’ll want to start brushing twice a day, but only with a small bit of fluoride toothpaste (they say about the size of a grain of rice).
Oral hygiene isn’t just a practice, it’s an education. Talk to your children about the ‘why’ behind what you’re doing so that they understand the importance of keeping their teeth, gums and tongue clean and allow them to give brushing and flossing a try so that they can get familiar with the motions.