A frequent question our Pediatric Dentist in Encinitas hears is, “When should I start brushing my baby’s teeth?” A good response in Encinitas CA is often, “it depends on the baby’s oral development”.
In most cases, we should begin regular cleanings before baby’s have teeth. It is an excellent habit to begin after each breast feeding (or bottle-feeding). Simply use a clean, damp cloth and gently rub the baby’s gum tissue. Wrapping the material around one finger makes it easier to remove any food bits from your baby’s mouth, plus, it helps to adjust the baby to future dental visits.
During that joyous process of teething, when the baby’s first tooth is visible, utilize a baby toothbrush. Special baby toothbrushes can be found in your drugstore, and have just a few very soft bristles. Some brushes are shaped like finger puppets that fit over the tip of your pointer finger. Do not use toothpaste yet, as the baby can swallow it.
Over time, as more teeth appear, parents may start using small amounts of toothpaste, and make sure it doesn’t contain fluoride for the first two years. Start trying to teach little ones the process of spitting the toothpaste out after brushing. This can really help during later years, as he or she will already have the good habit of spitting when you switch to fluoride toothpaste. Never swallow fluoride toothpaste.
Your Pediatric Dentist in Encinitas encourages parents to start developing positive brushing habits as young as possible. In sunny Encinitas CA, Carlsbad Children’s Dentistry at 760-633-1131 can provide excellent resources and advice to get young brushers up to speed.