Even though it is true that we eventually lose the 20 baby teeth we started with in place of our permanent adult teeth, we should still treat them just the same when it comes to dental health. With kids, there are numerous things you start doing with them as soon as childbirth to ensure positive dental health and preventative care throughout their childhood.
Newborn – 12 Months
A few days after the baby is born, start cleaning your baby’s mouth with a moist washcloth or gauze pad. It’s important to know that decay can occur as soon as his or her first teeth arrive, around 6 months of age, so it’s best to take preventative action early on.
12 Months – Age 3
Around this age, you can start brushing your child’s teeth twice a day with a child’s toothbrush and a minimal amount of fluoride toothpaste. The amount should be the size of a grain of rice or less. Once your child develops teeth that begin to touch, you can also start a habit of helping them floss daily. Children normally have all 20 of their baby teeth grown in by the age of 3.
Ages 3 – 6
For children that fall within this age range, using a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste when brushing is important. Teeth should be brushed twice a day, as usual, in addition to flossing daily. As your child begins to learn how to brush their teeth on their own, make sure you supervise and see that they do not swallow the toothpaste.
In addition to these daily dental health habits, it is also important to start bringing your child to see the dentist after their first tooth appears. The dentist will use your first visit to examine your child’s teeth and check for development and growth.
By practicing these good dental health habits early, you can prevent any potential decay or infection in your child’s teeth over time.