Your baby’s first tooth will erupt around 6-10 months old (usually the lower front teeth). Before baby teeth erupt into the mouth, you can use a damp cloth or gauze to clean your baby’s gums. Once the first tooth erupts, you can begin using a small toothbrush to brush their teeth after feeding bottles and before bed. Around the age of 3, you should start using a small amount of fluoride toothpaste to brush their teeth, about the size of a grain of rice. Fluoridated toothpaste helps to reduce the risk of cavities. It is important to help your child brush their teeth until around the age of 7-8 to help prevent cavities and make sure an adequate job is being done.
It is important to start helping your child floss their teeth as soon as they have any two teeth that touch each other. Often, around 3 and a half to 4 years old, the back molars will close in and form a contact (area where two teeth touch each other), which can be a risky area for cavities. Be sure to use floss wands to floss these contacts.
Fluoride is an essential component of a healthy oral hygiene regimen for a child. Start using fluoride toothpaste about the size of a grain of rice when brushing your child’s teeth. If your child has previously had a cavity, you can add an extra dose of fluoride by adding a daily mouthwash. Make sure the label of the mouthwash says “anti-cavity” and that it includes fluoride. Ensure that your child can use mouthwash without swallowing it.
A well-balanced diet high in vitamins and low in sugar is a crucial way to keep your child’s teeth healthy. A high sugar diet can lead to cavities. The types of sugar that are the most cavity causing are sugars that are sticky, gummy and chewy such as candies and dried fruit. These types of sugars get stuck in the biting surfaces and extend sugar exposure. If your child takes daily vitamins, make sure they are sugar-free.
Make sure to bring your child in for regular check-ups and cleanings. Your child’s teeth and gums will be checked, cleaned, and brushing and flossing will be reviewed.