healthy dental habits

Discovering your baby has their first teeth coming in is an exciting moment. Taking care of those teeth early on can keep you & your child excited about their smile for years to come.

Baby Steps

Making sure your baby’s mouth stays clean can start even before their teeth come in by gently using a wet washcloth to scrub away plaque buildup from the gums. When that first tooth pops in, it’s time to get a toothbrush. A child’s first toothbrush should have a large handle & small head with soft bristles. Be sure to brush their teeth for them until they are old enough to where the brush is no longer a choking hazard. Toothpaste is only needed once several teeth come in, though a gentle grain (low abrasive) is recommended for children. Fluoride is also good for kids’ teeth & is fine to have in toothpaste. Bristles of toothbrushes can also be soaked to make them even softer as your child’s mouth is still sensitive & can scratch easily. If you don’t use toothpaste at first, be sure to still use water to rinse the bacteria away.

Healthy Habits

As you brush your child’s teeth, it will help them learn the habit for themselves. So be sure to brush thoroughly & twice a day, possibly after meals as well, in order to get the right habit built up. There are also things that can make the experience more enjoyable for kids, such as flavored toothpaste & toothbrushes with kid-friendly designs. In order to keep them brushing for two minutes when their full set of teeth comes in, you can play one of their favorite short songs to brush to.

Flossing & Mouthwash

We know there’s more to dental care than just brushing, but flossing & using mouthwash should start after your child is a baby. Flossing does not have to start until your child has two or more teeth touching, when the floss can be used to help clean between teeth.

Mouthwash should not come into play until even later than that. When your child is 6, you can begin to use mouthwash designed for kids. The primary difference in child’s mouthwash is the lack of alcohol. Even then, supervision is needed since mouthwash is not intended to be swallowed & some kids’ flavors can seem appealing to drink to the child. When your child turns 12, it’s time to upgrade to regular mouthwash. By this time, your child should have a great routine of dental care thanks to the energy you put in while they were young!

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