Proper cleaning of your child’s teeth depends on their age and the stage of their tooth development. In the first stages, gentle cleaning is appropriate, which involves the use of a baby toothbrush or finger brush. You should only use water, as toothpaste at a young age is not necessary. Massaging your baby’s gums is also beneficial, even in areas where there are no teeth.
Here are a few other tips on caring for your child’s teeth:
When to Use Toothpaste
Kids younger than two years old should not be given toothpaste, as they usually swallow it. If the dentist allows it, your child may start using toddler or fluoride-free toothpaste. Ask your dentist when is the right time to switch or use a fluoride one. Don’t forget to supervise kids when brushing and make sure that they spit out the toothpaste.
Choosing the Right Flavor
Kid’s dentists in Bountiful and other parts of Utah noted that if your child is ready or allowed to use toothpaste, choose a flavor that they will enjoy like bubblegum or strawberry. Be sure to look for the American Dental Association (ADA) seal. Avoid using products with strong minty flavor, as kids don’t like them. You may also want talk to your pediatric dentist for product recommendations.
Toothpaste Size and Spitting
At around two years of age, your kids should know how to spit while brushing. It is not advisable to give them water for swishing, as it only increases the likelihood of swallowing the toothpaste. Note that kids younger than three years should only toothpaste about the size of a grain of rice, while kids three years and older can use a pea-sized amount.
Choosing the Right Toothbrush
Picking the right toothpaste is important, but don’t forget to choose the right toothbrush. This should fit comfortably in their mouth and should have soft bristles. It’s also a good idea to let your little one choose a product that appeals to their preferences. Experts recommend replacing the toothbrush three to four months or sooner if the bristles are frayed.
Keep these tips in mind to keep your child’s teeth strong and healthy. Don’t forget to keep up with regular dental visits for other dental care recommendations.