When to start brushing baby teeth?

Should you start before they have their teeth?

It is important to get into a great habit of brushing your babies gums BEFORE you can see teeth. This means that as soon as your baby’s first incisors come through between the first 4 and 7 months, you can start brushing them straight away. It is very important to teach your child a good routine when it comes to brushing their teeth, and by brushing their teeth at the start and setting a good example, you can help them maintain a responsible oral hygiene routine in the future.

There are a few good tips for brushing your child’s teeth, for example, when applying toothpaste for children under 3 years old, only use a very small smear. From 3 to 6 years old you can use a pea-sized amount on their toothbrush. Additionally, just like yourself, you should brush their teeth at least twice a day; first thing in the morning and before bed,

Children can find brushing their teeth tiresome and boring, which is why it is so important that you find fun and inventive ways to capture their attention. This could be making it into and song or dance, or a type of game or brush your teeth at the same time as them.

Furthermore, ask your dentist for the best techniques on brushing. This may include brushing in small circles to cover the whole tooth whilst encouraging them to spit the toothpaste out, but not rinse their mouth (as the fluoride can continue to clean even after you’ve finished brushing).

You can keep helping your child brush their teeth until you feel that they are responsible enough to do it themselves (this is usually around 7 years old). 

Please note that this article is for patient information purposes only. The information provided is based on guidance available at the time of writing, which may subsequently change. Please consult your own dentist with any individual queries.

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