Many new parents have then same question, “When should I brush my infant’s teeth?”
The answer is….
Start brushing before he or she even has teeth. In the beginning, you don’t need a tooth brush—after each feeding, or morning and night, use a damp cloth to wipe your child’s gums clean. This will keep bacteria from settling on the gums. Once your child gets a tooth, you can buy a toothbrush that is age appropriate with soft bristles. You do not need to use toothpaste at this point since your child is not able to spit. Just continue to brush two times daily with a wet toothbrush to dislodge any bacteria. Don’t forget to brush their tongue as well. By his or hers first birthday, set up an appointment with your pediatric dentist to have an exam—continue with regular visits every 6 months to get the child use to the dentist and to make sure everything looks great in the child’s mouth.
By the age of two, we recommend starting to use a smear of toothpaste with fluoride on the bristles of the toothbrush and continue to brush for your child two times daily. Between the age of 3 and 5 your child will learn how to spit. When they are able to spit, start using a pea size amount of fluoride toothpaste. A parent should continue to brush for their child at least once per day until the child has the dexterity to do it on their own. A child typically does not have the coordination to brush on their own until they are able to tie their shoes or write their name in cursive. Even after a child begins brushing on their own, a parent should supervise to ensure all areas are brushed each time.