Question: when should we start brushing and flossing our chid’s teeth?
Answer: As soon as possible.
Seems obvious, but what does that really mean?
A lot of people think they don’t have to brush baby teeth. If your baby has even one tooth, it’s time to start tooth brushing. If there’s just one tooth, you can use gauze.
Even before your baby has teeth, you can gently brush the gums, using water on a soft baby toothbrush, or clean them with a soft washcloth.
Once there are additional teeth, parents should buy infant toothbrushes that are very soft. Brushing should be done twice daily using a mild fluoridated toothpaste recommended by your dentist.
Flossing should begin when two teeth touch each other. Ask your dentist to show you the right flossing techniques and schedules.
Also ask for your dentist’s advice on when to start using mouthwash. Usually that begins when a child can definitely spit the mouthwash out and understands not to try and swallow it.
Finally, how long until your little one can be responsible for brushing his own teeth? About the same time they learn to tie their shoes and write in cursive.
And, of course, part of the regimen should include regular dental visits.
During those dental visits, ask if your child’s teeth need fluoride protection or a dental sealant.
And remember, the most important time to brush and floss is just before bedtime. No food or drink, except water, should be allowed until the next morning. This allows clean teeth to re-mineralize during the night, from the minerals in the saliva and toothpaste.
So, not much right? We know there’s a lot to digest in the post, but it does give you the basics of how and when to begin the brushing and flossing routine you hope to have your child adopt as habit. It will, in the long run, be one of the best habits you can teach your children, not only for their oral health but for the overall health benefits it will accrue in their lifetime.
If you have any questions, please call us or bring them up on your next visit. We’d be glad to discuss this with you.