When should my child start using toothpaste?

When should my child start using toothpaste?

Caring for your child’s teeth involves much more than making sure they see their pediatric dentist.

Teeth begin forming in the womb. Expectant mothers can help their child’s teeth formation by observing a diet rich with the proper vitamins and nutrients that will nourish both mom and child.

Your child’s teeth will begin to erupt around the age of four to six months. At this stage, wiping your baby’s teeth with a soft cloth is sufficient.

Your child should have their first dental visit around the age of twelve months. This visit involves an exam, and provides the perfect opportunity for the caregivers to ask questions of the pediatric dentist; one of those questions involves when and how brushing should occur for your child.

The right tools are imperative. An age appropriate toothbrush and toothpaste are going to make your job easier. Brushing with a soft bristle brush with a small head with a pea size dollop of age appropriate paste is recommended. You should never use fluoridated toothpaste until your child has mastered the ability to spit paste out.

Your toddler will need you to brush and floss for them until they are coordinated enough to perform these tasks on their own. This could take several years so bring your patience. Your child may offer resistance, and you may be tempted to let brushing slide to avoid confrontation. But you are doing your child a disservice if you do so.

Children love to imitate and copy their parents … let them watch you brush and floss. Make it a game and brushing will become more enjoyable for you and your child.

Once your child demonstrates they want to try on their own, let them; just make sure they are doing a good job. Once they have proven to you they are able to rinse and spit with ease, you can introduce fluoridated toothpaste to their regimen.

Don’t make the mistake of believing that baby teeth will be replaced with permanent teeth so caring for those first teeth is not that important. Baby teeth can develop decay. Do you want your child to have to undergo cavity repair or lose a tooth prematurely due to your lack of proper care? Baby teeth lay the groundwork for permanent teeth … keep them healthy with the appropriate diet and excellent care.

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