Caring for Children’s Teeth – Part 2: When to start brushing baby teeth

Cleaning and caring for your child’s teeth early on will set them up with great dental habits in the future. At Whitehorse Dental, we want to give busy parents easy access to practical dental advice to care for children’s teeth.

A common question that we get asked at Whitehorse Dental is when do you begin to brush your child’s teeth?

Newborn babies have a full set of 20 baby teeth hidden in their gums, Baby teeth can appear in any order, and by around the age of 2-2.5 years old many kids will have grown all their baby set of teeth.

In the beginning when little teeth are just starting to grow, we recommend that parents lightly clean their kids’ teeth by gently wiping them twice a day (morning and night).

You can wipe baby teeth by using a soft cotton cloth or cotton make up remover pad that has a tiny smear of children’s toothpaste on it.

There’s no need to rinse their mouth when using children’s toothpaste as it contains less than half the fluoride content of regular adult toothpaste. Baby toothpaste is safe to use from 0-2 years old.

Introducing kids to brushing with a small children’s toothbrush can begin when you think they are ready, usually around 12 months old. Using children’s fluoride toothpaste, put a small dab onto the toothbrush. Rather than leaving the toothpaste as a lump on the toothbrush, rub the paste into the bristles to coat the toothbrush evenly.

Let your child have a go at brushing their teeth, and then finish the brushing off for them. Again, there’s no need to rinse or spit with the low fluoride content in children’s toothpaste.

Ensuring the even coating of fluoride toothpaste will assist in building a stronger enamel for your child’s teeth to better resist against tooth decay.

From our experience with children’s dental hygiene, we can understand that it can be difficult to get kids to stand still enough to brush! In the next post on the Whitehorse Dental blog, we’ll look at the ways parents can introduce young kids to brushing their teeth.

Image credit: Let’s do 52 1” by M Sundstrom is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.