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May 17, 2018

Is it Time for Your Child to Start Brushing?

little girl with missing teeth smiling

As your child progresses, there are several milestones that you’ll celebrate. One of them is the emergence of the primary teeth, signaling that he or she is ready to be introduced to solid food. You’d like to know, though, when it’s best to start brushing to get your little one off to the best oral health start. As you continue reading, your dentist in Ann Arbor will shed some light on the topic.

When Does Your Child First Develop Teeth?

In your quest to initiate excellent dental care habits for your child, you want to be sure that you’re taking the right steps. Thus, your dentist stresses the fact that above par oral health doesn’t begin when the teeth show but beforehand.

The reality is that your baby’s teeth have been developing for longer than you may think. Most times, they begin to form by the second trimester, with the 20 primary teeth being fully developed at birth (imbedded in the jaw).

How does this affect the way you should care for their teeth?

Tips for Caring for Your Child’s Teeth

Now that you have a better understanding of when teeth development begins, let’s look at some ways to care for your child’s ivories:

  • Before your baby starts teething, you can run a clean, damp washcloth over the gums to remove any bacteria after a feeding.
  • Once the first teeth appear, you can start brushing them using an infant toothbrush. You can use water and a very small amount of toothpaste that has the American Dental Academy (ADA) seal of approval.
  • Once your baby’s teeth touch, you should start incorporating flossing into the routine. You’ll initially have to do it for them until their coordination gets better.
  • Until your child has reached the age of six, you should monitor their brushing habits to ensure his or her safety and a thorough cleaning.

Is It Time to Visit Your Dentist?

The next logical question is, when should you take your kiddo to the dentist? The ADA recommends that you plan the first visit around his or her first birthday. The dental examination will be a modified version, where your child sits on your lap to ensure the highest degree of comfort.

These visits are vital because they will allow your dentist to discover any problems early so they can be corrected before your little one’s teeth fully erupt.

By introducing your child to dental visits early in life, you aren’t just protecting his or her oral health. You are also encouraging positive habit-forming that will follow him or her well into adulthood.

To schedule the first appointment, just reach out to your local dentist.

About the Author

A native of Ann Arbor, Dr. James Olsen has nearly three decades of experience practicing dentistry. After graduating from the University of Michigan School of Dentistry, he opened his private practice and has been providing competent and compassionate care for children of Ann Arbor ever since. Dr. Olsen can be reached for more information through his website.

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