If your little one is giggling and smiling away, one day you might start to notice a tiny white mass start to peek out from their toothless mouth. As the days and weeks roll by, your baby will soon have a full set of teeny tiny pearly whites. But you might be wondering when to start brushing baby teeth, or how to even start going about the process. Rest assured, we’ve got you covered. Keep reading without delay to avoid that dreaded tooth decay!

When to Start

Before the teeth come in, when your baby is only a few days old, you’ll want to gently rub them down with a wet cloth several times a day, between meals and before bedtime, to keep your baby’s mouth clean and limit bacteria. This will help create a healthy environment for the baby teeth to come in! Once the teeth come in at around 6 to 14 months, it’s time to grab the toothbrush and start scrubbing! Before you choose when to start brushing baby teeth, consult your pediatrician. Some suggest waiting until several teeth appear next to each other while others might think waiting until between age 2 and 3 is a better fit for your child. 

Selecting a Toothpaste

Flavors galore! Whether your baby prefers berry or bubblegum, fruity or fresh mint, chances are you can find a toothpaste that will make brushing a bit easier. Choose your favorite flavor toothpaste and get going on those pearly whites. Fluoride toothpaste is an excellent child-safe natural mineral that can help strengthen teeth and protect your little one from cavities. But keep in mind, it should not be used until your child is at least 2 years old. Select an ADA-accepted toothpaste to be sure you gave the best quality, and always read the label to ensure that it is recommended for your baby’s age. 

How to Brush Baby Teeth

First, find the proper toothbrush! The important tip here is to make sure the brush head is small and soft to fit snugly in your baby’s mouth and clean gently. Switch out the brush every three months for the best clean. Before you begin, make sure the toothbrush is wet to soften the bristles before you begin. If several baby teeth are present, use a very small amount of toothpaste, about a quarter of a pea size. Once your child gets a little older, you can begin to increase the amount of toothpaste as necessary. To brush, use small circles to massage the teeth for around 1 to 2 minutes, focusing most heavily on the back of the mouth. And don’t forget, start flossing as soon as there are teeth that are touching. 

Teaching Your Child

Eventually, at around 7 or 8 years old, your child will be able to brush fully on their own. Teaching your little one the proper way to brush is instrumental to their oral, and overall, health. Kids who don’t brush their teeth are at risk for cavities, tooth decay, pain, and difficulties eating. So, make sure that your child understands the importance of daily brushing. Start by setting a good example of proper brushing and flossing in front of your child. Show them how to scrub all sides of their teeth, front, back, and behind their molars. And don’t forget to have them brush their tongue too! 

At Coastal Kids, we care about the health of your child, from teeth to toes and everywhere in between! To ensure that your little one’s oral health and hygiene are on track, visit your pediatrician before your child’s first birthday, or as soon as baby teeth start peek-a-booing! We can’t wait to see your baby’s sweet new smile!