How (And When) To Start Brushing Your Child’s Teeth

How (And When) To Start Brushing Your Child’s Teeth

It’s never too early to consider your child’s dental health. Establishing a positive dental care routine with your child sooner rather than later is highly beneficial. Parents often wonder, ‘When should I start brushing my child’s teeth?’ While this might seem trivial, given that babies typically don’t start getting teeth until around six months of age, there’s value in starting dental care as soon as possible.

Starting dental care early not only offers various health advantages for your child’s oral well-being but also familiarizes them with the sensation of oral stimulation similar to brushing, even before their teeth emerge. At All Kids Dental Of Suffolk, we’ve crafted a comprehensive guide outlining the different stages of brushing your child’s teeth and what you can anticipate.

Zero To 3 Months: Caring For Gums

The majority of infants won’t have teeth during the 0-3 month age range. Nevertheless, instilling good oral hygiene habits early is crucial. Our suggestion is to use a soft toothbrush or even the corner of a clean, damp washcloth to gently massage the gum area. You can opt for either plain water or a tiny amount of toothpaste specifically designed for babies. Employ a circular motion, similar to how you care for your own gums. This process serves to cleanse and gently stimulate the gums, while also familiarizing your baby with a routine sensation.

3-9 Months: Gum Care And Brushing Begins

Much like the various milestones that mark a child’s development, these events can unfold at diverse timings and paces. Between 3 and 6 months of age, you might start noticing indications of teeth emerging through the gums. However, it’s equally normal not to witness any teeth until around 6 to 9 months. Regardless of the timeline, maintaining proper gum care remains exceptionally important. This practice readies the mouth for eventual tooth growth by safeguarding gum health against potential bacterial infiltration once teeth break through.

If your baby is teething during this phase, we suggest using a cold washcloth or a toothbrush with soft bristles. The cold temperature can help alleviate any discomfort or pain in the gums. As soon as your child’s first teeth make an appearance, you can gently use a soft toothbrush to brush them, mimicking your own technique, twice a day. Ensure the brush’s head is angled to cover every corner of the emerged tooth. Also, lightly brush along the gums in areas where teeth haven’t appeared yet, allowing your child to become accustomed to the sensation.

9-12 Months: Brushing Baby Teeth

At this point, your child will likely have a couple or even a few teeth that have emerged. This phase can be uncomfortable for them, as they’re currently undergoing the teething process to alleviate the discomfort in their gums. We suggest maintaining the same routine you’ve employed thus far: brushing twice daily using a soft-bristled toothbrush and a small amount of fluoride toothpaste. With any luck, your child has by now grown accustomed to the sensation of tooth brushing.

In the event that your child’s teeth haven’t surfaced by their first birthday, there’s no need to worry. Much like other developmental milestones, teeth follow their own unique timeline of growth, varying from individual to individual.

12-18 Months: A Regular Routine

During this phase, children might not possess the full capability to manage brushing on their own, and that’s perfectly normal! Our suggestion is for parents to persist in aiding kids of this age range with their tooth brushing. It’s a good idea to establish this assistance as a consistent routine while also introducing the practice of spitting after brushing. This spitting exercise not only promotes the refinement of independent motor skills but also reinforces a healthy oral care habit.

Here at All Kids Dental, we advise parents to consider arranging their child’s very first dental appointment with us when they’re between 12 to 18 months old. This time frame ensures that their developmental progress is on track.

3-6 Years Old: Time To Brush Together

In this period, your child will begin to express a desire for autonomy and independence. They are drawn to tasks they can perform on their own, so consider passing them the toothbrush and transforming your routine into a collaborative activity. To counter any resistant or negative feelings towards tooth brushing, infuse an element of enjoyment into this daily practice. After all, children often learn best by emulating adults. It’s possible that you might still need to provide some additional brushing after your child has had a go at it themselves. When you brush together, your child experiences a sense of self-sufficiency while you simultaneously ensure the thoroughness of their brushing technique.

All Kids Dental Is The Best Choice For Your Child’s Smile

If you are searching for the best dental care for your children in Suffolk and the surrounding Virginia neighborhoods, look no further than All Kids Dental. All Kids Dental has the expertise to live up to its name and make all kids feel comfortable and show off healthy smiles. From infant exams, to tooth-colored fillings and sedation dentistry, to creating an individualized dental plan for children with special needs, All Kids Dental can do it all. For pediatric dental expertise, call and schedule a visit with Dr. Joe and Dr. Brett today!