February is an important month because it’s Children’s Dental Health Month! Dr. Wells has been posting videos on our Instagram story of all the things you need to know about your child’s dental health!
A question we received numerous times was “what do I use to brush my baby’s teeth/gums with?
For the gums I recommend using a wet rag instead the finger toothbrush but that works as well! You can also use just water until multiple teeth start to come in! Once your child starts getting teeth you should start using a small, soft bristle toothbrush. As far as toothpaste – for children under 3 smear a amount smaller than a grain of rice. For children 3 and older you can start with a pea size amount. Keep using small amounts of toothpaste until they know how to spit. Fluoride toothpaste is recommended as soon as teeth appear.
Here are toothbrushes I would recommend!
- Bigger doesn’t mean better when picking out a toothbrush size
- Electric is always better – they remove more plaque
As soon as your child’s teeth start touching = FLOSS!
Most of their cavities start between the teeth so it is crucial to start flossing as soon as they begin to touch. Floss picks work best for younger kids.
Age of brushing on your own –
Here are 3 things you should look for when deciding if your child is ready to brush on their own.
- Ability to spit on their own
I like to say when your child can write in cursive they can brush on their own! Now days cursive isn’t taught like it used to be so my suggested age would be 6-8 years old but every child is of course different.
One thing you can purchase to check behind your child’s brushing is disclosing tablets. Disclosing tablets stain the plaque a color and parents can make sure they remove all the color to evaluate their brushing!
Teething can start as early as 3-6 months and the top or bottom teeth are usually the first to come in. Every child is different! Teething lasts usually up to 3 years. Teething is the pressure of the tooth against the gum and usually causes fussiness, irritability, drooling, and they chew on everything – these are completely normal symptoms.
Here are a few things I recommend for teething –
-Teething ring – do not freeze the liquid ones!
-Wet or frozen rag
-Sophie the Giraffe
-Most babies personal favorite, their fingers!
-Ibuprofen and Tylenol are good relievers for 6+ months
-No benzocaine or topical products under 2 years
-No teething necklaces due to the choking hazard