Start brushing your child’s teeth upon eruption of the first tooth. Typically the first baby tooth to erupt is in the lower front, followed by the upper front. Try to brush twice a day, using either water or infant toothpaste. Your child will have a full set of 20 baby teeth around 2.5-3 years old. It is recommended to start flossing around four years old when the back molars make contact.
Unless there is a concern with your child’s teeth and fluoride is recommended earlier, the typical age to start fluoride toothpaste is around three years old. All you need is a tiny amount of toothpaste, about the size of a grain of rice.
A mouthwash containing fluoride may be recommended if your child is particularly cavity prone. Don’t introduce a mouthwash to your child until they are very good at swishing and spitting, as swallowing fluoride may give them an upset stomach.
Products containing xylitol are also a good idea for cavity-prone children. Xylitol changes the oral bacteria from the cavity-causing type to the non-cavity causing kind. Xylitol products include mints, gum, mouthwash and even gummies.
Limit the amount of sugar that your child is consuming to help reduce their cavity risk. Cavity-causing sugars are gummies, fruit leathers and granola bars. Try to have your child brush their teeth after, or at least have water to clear their mouth.
Milk contains natural sugars and can lead to cavities. Cavities from nursing are seen on the upper front teeth and appear as stained or chipped spots. Make sure to brush your child’s teeth after nursing and before bed. Try to never put your infant/child to bed with a bottle of milk, as the liquid can sit in their mouth and bathe their teeth in sugars, leading to cavities.
If you have any questions about how to protect your child’s teeth, we encourage you to contact us today to schedule an appointment.