If you are a parent to a young child, you may have some questions about their oral health. When should you first take them to the dentist? How do you teach them to brush? Here is some information to help!
Start by taking care of baby’s gums
Even before your baby has teeth coming in, you can promote their future oral health by keeping their gums clean. You don’t even need a toothbrush at this point; you can just use a wet washcloth to wipe down their gums. It is especially important to wipe off their gums after feeding and before bedtime, so that bacteria don’t have a chance to accumulate on teeth when they do start to come in.
The baby teeth
When the teeth start to poke through the gums, it is a very exciting time for you but a painful time for them. It is also a good time, though, for your child to start getting used to tooth brushing. Find a small, child-sized toothbrush with soft bristles. Start with only water on the brush until they have a chance to get used to the feeling of the toothbrush in their mouths, and, eventually, put a tiny bit of toothpaste on the brush. When your child is about 3, add a bit more toothpaste and brush their teeth gently. By the time they are about 6, they should be able to brush their own teeth – with your supervision, of course. Make sure they are brushing for about 2 minutes and cleaning them properly.
Experts say that children should first visit the dentist 6 months after they get their first tooth, or around their first birthday – whichever comes first. It may seem very early, but it allows the dentist to check for any problems or decay, and it also gives them a chance to start getting used to the dentist’s office and care.
Soft Touch Dentistry is a great place for your child to begin their lifetime of good oral health. They provide services for the whole family, from baby to grandparents. Call the Brighton office at (617) 782-9250 or the Newton office at (617) 332-8146 for your baby’s first dental appointment!