Infant Oral Care: How Early is Too Early to Begin?
Establishing a healthy starting point for your child’s oral care start earlier than you may realize. It’s amazing how quickly time passes and how fast children grow up. We’ve put together a few guidelines to encourage you to make good dental habits a priority and to begin caring for your child’s teeth as soon as possible.
Start before teeth arrive.
First teeth generally appear around 6 months. (Don’t worry if your child is sooner or later than this. All children are different.) Gently wiping the inside of your baby’s mouth with a soft cloth after meals or during bath time will help to reduce bacteria and give emerging teeth a great start. It will also get you in the habit of caring for your child’s teeth until they are ready to take over themselves.
Begin brushing as soon as the first tooth appears.
Once the first tooth emerges, it’s time to begin brushing. We recommend a tiny smear of toothpaste on a toothbrush that’s specifically designed for infants. These usually have small brush heads and a special shape or handle that fits easily in your hand. Stick to brushing twice a day and be sure to brush both the inside and outside of each tooth surface. Flossing shouldn’t be a concern until tooth surfaces touch.
Establish a dental home early.
We encourage you to make the first visit to our practice more of a “meet and greet”. We can give you and your child a mini-tour, and introduce you to our team. It is our belief that a comfortable, caring environment is essential for a lifetime of healthy smiles. We would love to see your child when their first tooth arrives or by age one.
Keep a routine for the whole family.
Children imitate what they see their parents do. Chances are, if caring for your own teeth is a priority then you will pass those health habits along to your children. Try making brushing and flossing something that everyone in your family does as part of your regular routine.
If you haven’t been following these guidelines, it’s not too late to start! The best time to begin a lifetime of great dental habits is today. We encourage you to share this blog post with your friends and family who have young children or may be expecting. And don’t forget to call us if it’s time for a check-up!