Use a soft-bristled brush with a tiny brush head. There are toothbrushes available made specifically for babies. Brush your infant’s teeth at least once every day before bed to remove food debris and bacteria.
To avoid dental issues, your child’s first visit with a pediatric dentist should be when the first tooth erupts (about six months of age), or by the first birthday.
Pediatric dentists are like pediatric doctors, who specialize in treating children. A pediatric dentist completes an additional 2–3 years of training after dental school, focused on pediatric dentistry, a specialized practice. Children’s dentist provides oral care specifically for infants, children, and teens, including patients with special needs.
Baby teeth, or primary teeth, are essential for multiple reasons. Children need them to chew properly and speak clearly. They also serve as placeholders for the underlying adult teeth. It is important to maintain primary teeth because poor oral health can directly impact the permanent teeth.
Sucking habits, in general, are only problematic if they go on for an extended time. Most kids put an end to it naturally, but if your child is past age three and still sucking on his/her fingers/thumb, your pediatric dentist might suggest a habit appliance.
Although each child has unique needs, the general recommendation is to schedule a dental visit every six months. This is a good rule of thumb to prevent cavities and it allows your dentist to monitor your child’s mouth for dental issues. Your pediatric dentist will determine how often your child should be seen based on oral and overall health history.
At birth, start cleaning your infant’s gums with a soft baby toothbrush, or a soft cloth and water. Once the first tooth erupts, start using just a smear of fluoride toothpaste to brush your baby’s teeth. By ages 3–6 use a pea-sized drop start teaching your child how to brush independently with your assistance. Make sure the child expels any excess toothpaste and doesn’t swallow it.