When Should a Child Start Using Toothpaste?

Child Start Using Toothpaste

At Epic Dentistry for Kids, our dental philosophy centers on creating a dental home where you will feel comfortable and confident that your child’s needs are being met.

Many of us have children of our own, so we face the same concerns and experience the same anxiety as our patients and parents. That is why we will go that extra mile to ensure that they will remember it as a positive experience when your child leaves our office.

Aside from providing a safe and comfortable environment for your child, we also take pride in providing our parents with important information about kids’ dental care in Aurora.

Today, as your trusted children’s dentist in Aurora, we will be talking about toothpaste usage with your child during their oral hygiene routine

We seek to establish the foundation for healthy permanent teeth during the earliest years of life in children and teenagers. Tooth decay in children has been linked to a poor diet, bad eating habits, and inadequate toothbrushing habits during the first two years of life.

The development of caries in primary teeth raises the likelihood of caries occurring in permanent teeth. As a result, starting an oral hygiene practice early in infancy is critical to ensuring the development of strong and healthy teeth. Parents’ role as consistent role models is essential to establishing a routine and teaching their children the importance of dental hygiene. Brushing should be taught as a habit and a necessary element of daily hygiene practice. Children are susceptible to social cues like praise and affection, and they learn best by mimicking their parents.

In addition, your child’s general health depends on their teeth. Teeth assist your child in eating and speaking. Strong oral hygiene habits also help your child develop good dental habits as they grow. Infection, illness, and other dental issues can all result from poor oral hygiene.

Now that you have a better understanding of just how essential oral care is, let’s look at everything you need to know about toothpaste, brushing your child’s teeth, and everything in between. 

When Should I Start Brushing My Baby’s Teeth?

Dental care for your baby’s teeth can begin even before the first tooth shows. Once your kid is about three months old, gently wipe their gums twice a day with a damp, clean, soft cloth or gauze. When your baby’s first tooth appears, this will help them prepare for brushing.

As soon as your baby’s teeth begin to erupt, you can start brushing them. Brush your teeth using a baby toothbrush and a small amount of fluoride toothpaste. Don’t be concerned if you can’t brush much at first. The most important thing is to get your child acclimated to brushing their teeth daily. 

We recommend that you throw away toothbrushes with rough edges or toothbrushes that are more than two to four months old because mouth bacteria can begin to build up in your child’s toothbrush.

Proper Oral Hygiene Routines

Although oral health is essential for everyone, the proper oral hygiene routine to follow changes depending on your child’s age. Below are the recommendations for infants. 

Oral Hygiene for Infants

Babies are born with their teeth buried beneath the gums and are not visible. Around the age of six months, baby teeth begin to burst through the gums, but it is critical to begin proper oral hygiene for infants even before the first tooth appears. Healthy gums lead to healthy teeth.

  • After feeding, wipe your baby’s gums with a soft washcloth—this aids in the removal of microorganisms that might lead to tooth decay.
  • Brush teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste in a smear the size of a grain of rice, using a soft-bristle toothbrush, once they start to erupt.
  • To avoid infant bottle teeth decay, put the bottle aside when your child has finished drinking. When newborns consume milk, formula, or juice from bottles for lengthy periods or fall asleep with the bottle, they can develop tooth decay.
  • Make an appointment for your child’s first dental visit before their first birthday or when their first baby tooth appears, whichever comes first. 

Oral Hygiene for Children

Oral hygiene habits should progress in lockstep with their growth.

Children have lost all of their baby teeth by the age of three. These are known as primary teeth. Baby teeth begin to fall out at the age of six, and the permanent, or adult, teeth emerge. Gaps between teeth are quite frequent in newborns. They make room for the permanent teeth to erupt. The bulk of permanent teeth has emerged by the age of thirteen.

Below are some recommendations to keep your child’s teeth healthy and strong starting at the age of three:

  • Use a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste and make sure your child spits it out after brushing
  • Be sure your child brushes for at least 2 minutes twice a day
  • Start flossing as soon as teeth touch, or even earlier to help build good habits.
  • Help your child brush and floss, and remind them to pay attention to the back teeth.
  • Visit the dentist every six months.

Oral Hygiene for Preteens

As children become older and more of their permanent teeth come in, it’s more important than ever to maintain a strict daily dental hygiene routine to keep their teeth and gums healthy.

On the other hand, preteens can be challenging to maintain motivation in dental hygiene.

Try these tips to keep your child on track:

  • As preteens become more conscious of their appearance, it can be helpful to remind them that good oral care can help them look and feel better.
  • Remind your child to brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste for a full two minutes, which fights cavities and strengthens teeth, and gives older kids the confidence of having fresh breath. A power toothbrush might make brushing more fun for preteens.
  • Flossing is imperative at this point as most permanent teeth have erupted, and cleaning between them will help prevent cavities and keep their mouth fresh.
  • Encourage children who play sports to wear a mouth guard to protect their teeth from injuries.
  • Make sure kids who wear braces use a power brush and floss thoroughly to avoid white spots on teeth when braces come off.

Choosing Child-Friendly Toothbrushes and Toothpaste

Daily brushing your child’s developing teeth is essential for keeping them healthy and cavity-free. However, you can’t just give your kid the same toothbrush and toothpaste you use for your teeth.

After all, children require different dental instruments than adults.

What Is the Best Toothpaste for Kids?

The best toothpaste for kids is one that has the Seal of Acceptance from the American Dental Association on the container. This seal means the toothpaste has been tested in a clinical or laboratory setting and determined to be safe and effective. Apart from that, ensure sure it contains fluoride and keep in mind that kid-friendly flavors are a plus. Children are more likely to brush their teeth if the toothpaste they use tastes good.

Below are some kinds of toothpaste that have the Seal of Acceptance from the American Dental Association.

Aquafresh® Bubble Mint Toothpaste  You get cavity protection and a great taste with this toothpaste. One of the reasons we consider it among the best toothpaste for kids is its low abrasion, so even if kids who are learning to brush use too much pressure, their teeth will be safe.

Colgate® Kids’ Mild Bubble Fruit Flavor This Colgate toothpaste for toddlers, babies, and kids is gentle, sugar-free, fights cavities, and has a mild flavor. You can get it with various characters on the packaging like Minions or Trolls. Kids ages six and up might prefer the Colgate Kids 2in1 Toothpaste, which combines toothpaste and mouthwash in one formula.

Crest® Kids’ Cavity Protection Toothpaste These mild, enamel-safe toothpaste for children are tasty and protect little teeth from cavities. You can find versions featuring Frozen, Toy Story, Mickey Mouse, and more.

Babies’ Toothbrushes

Dentists recommend rubbing a wet towel over your baby’s gums after each feeding and before bedtime to remove sugar and bacteria. When the first tooth develops, use a soft baby toothbrush and a small smear of fluoride-free toothpaste. Because of the small toothbrush head, it fits easily in an infant’s mouth.

Toddlers’ Toothbrushes

Your toddler will certainly want to participate in toothbrushing time by the age of two. He doesn’t yet have the motor control to do a good job, but give him a chance nevertheless.

Bring your youngster to the store and let him pick out a toothbrush with a pattern or cartoon character that he will enjoy brushing every morning and night. Consider getting your child a powered toothbrush, which is more enjoyable to use and more effective than a manual toothbrush.

Children’s Toothbrushes Ages 5 to 8

Your school-aged youngster is becoming more self-reliant in dental care. Although they can hold the toothbrush independently, you should still watch them to make sure they’re brushing their teeth properly.

This age group’s toothbrushes have smaller handles and slightly larger heads. Allow your child to choose his toothbrush to keep him interested in brushing his teeth.

Toothbrushes for Children 8 and Up

You should no longer need to supervise your child while brushing their teeth by the third grade. If you instill healthy habits, you might confidently leave them to perform the assignment themselves.

Older children’s toothbrushes resemble adult toothbrushes in appearance, but the heads are slightly smaller, and the handles are fatter and shorter. Powered toothbrushes are still a good choice for preadolescent children, especially if they have trouble using a manual toothbrush efficiently.

The Importance of Scheduling an Appointment

As kid’s dentists in Aurora, we understand that dental appointments and procedures can be expensive when raising children. But it’s essential to keep in mind that scheduling routine checkups with your child’s dentist can keep issues from arising and turning into more severe problems for your child in the future. To learn more about our treatments or schedule an appointment for your child, contact us today.

We look forward to seeing you and your child walk through our door.