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FAMILY DENTISTRY: When should you start brushing your baby’s teeth?

9th December 2016

While in some cases your child might only have their primary (baby) teeth for a few years, it is still essential that you take good care of them. It is also important to instill good dental care into your child’s daily routine from their first year.

As soon as that first glimmer of white appears, once the celebrations have subsided, get the toothbrush out. Pop a small dot of toothpaste on a very soft brush (ensure both are suitable from 0 years) and then then give them a little brush. It takes some getting used to when you’re a baby, so stick with it. Let your little one explore the brush, holding it and having a wee chew on it if they wish, making sure they are supervised at all times. When they are really small, sit them on your knee and let their head rest against your chest – this is a great position for brushing. It is also a good idea to brush your teeth at the same time, many babies like to see they are doing the same as their parents. Ideally you should also clean their gums at the same time. The silicon brushes that you put on your finger are perfect for this. Aim to brush their teeth and clean their gums twice a day.

If they are resistant, try to persevere, distract them by singing a song or do it while they are engrossed in their favourite book or TV programme. Also search YouTube for episodes of their favourite characters brushing their teeth and visiting the dentist, like Peppa and George visit the dentist . It’s worth persisting.

We usually encourage parents to start bringing their children to visit their dentist around six months after their first tooth has appeared. Your dentist can give you tips and guidance if you are finding toothbrushing to be a battle. You will also get helpful advice on preventing tooth decay, as well as having a general check over. Starting visits to the dentist early is also helpful to get little ones used to the surroundings from an early age, ensuring they enjoy their trip. There are always stickers to entice and reward them and loads of praise from their dentist.

Next time we’ll discuss the stages of tooth development. When will my get their first tooth? When will their teeth begin falling out?

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