Taking care of teeth is important, but if you are fairly new to this “parenthood” thing, you may be wondering about when you should start teaching your child about good oral health. You know it is important to find a great dentist for the whole family, but what else do you need to know about children’s teeth?
It’s never too early to start
Even if your baby doesn’t have teeth yet, it is important to take care of their gums so that their teeth will grow in strong and healthy. You don’t even need a toothbrush at this stage; use a moistened washcloth to wipe down baby’s gums at least twice a day. It is especially important to wipe off bacteria after feedings and before bedtime, so that it doesn’t form plaque on teeth as they start to come in.
The teeth are in!
When the teeth do start to emerge, it is time to start getting your child used to brushing his or her teeth. Find a small, toddler sized toothbrush with soft bristles. Start with just water on the toothbrush at first, and then eventually start using just a tiny amount of toothpaste. When your child is about 3, use a bit more (about the size of a pea) and brush their teeth gently. They will usually be able to brush their own teeth when they are about 6. However, you should check your child’s teeth to make sure they are cleaning them properly, and check for any signs of decay, such as spots or pits on the teeth.
That first trip to the dentist
Experts recommend that your child should go to the dentist around their first birthday, or 6 months after they get their first tooth, whichever comes first. It may seem awfully early, but this lets the dentist check for decay or any other problems while letting your child get used to the dentist’s office.
Even if your baby isn’t ready for the dentist just yet, you still need a great dentist so you can take care of your own oral health! Call Pacific Northwest Smiles at 425-357-6400 for an appointment today!