As a Registered Dental Hygienist, many parents ask me when can they start the toothbrush, the toothpaste and how to even get a kid to brush their teeth?
Before you get to deep, fluoridated toothpaste is recommended to help prevent cavities. By replenishing lost minerals in the tooth enamel. If fluoridated toothpaste is not something you wish for your child, please do not post inappropriate comments. There are other alternative toothpastes you can use. Just skip the parts on fluoridated toothpaste in this post.
I will break down the “what to do” by age.
0-6 Months: From the very beginning it’s recommended you wipe your child’s gums with a wet cloth, or you can use a chewy toothbrush. This will help reduce thrush and help the child be use to having something in their mouth.
6-12 Months: When the first teeth arrive you can at this point introduce a soft bristle infant toothbrush. Remember to be very gentle, use water and make it a lot of fun!
1-2 Years: By the age of one you can introduce non-fluoridated toothpaste into the routine. If your child does not like the taste, water is still fine to use.
2+ Years: Once your child is able to not swallow the toothpaste in their mouth, understand not too, swish and spit with water. They are ready for fluoridated toothpaste. If your community does not have fluoridated water, it’s recommended to introduce toothpaste with fluoride as soon as your child is ready. If you are not sure if your community has fluoride in its water, you are able to find this information on your city’s website. By his age you can also introduce an electric toothbrush. If by this age your little one is still not a fan of brushing their teeth this should help.
Here are some tips to help prevent those sugar bugs from causing cavities.
- Brush teeth right before bed, then only water afterwards. Going to bed having a liquid with sugar right before will saturate the teeth with sugar which is broken down into an acid. Weakening the enamel.
- Reduce daily sugar intake.
- Avoid “Gummy” candy.
- Have them drink water after a high sugar food.
- Brush twice a day
Many parents ask “how do I get them to brush their teeth?”. Brushing a child’s teeth can be a very daunting task but make it fun. Play music or use stickers. Don’t ever make it a bad experience, if you don’t get to brush their teeth one night, that’s ok. Just make sure they have a few good sips of water before bed. It’s all about the progress!
Hope this information helps! Thanks for reading,