Brush Tips for Toddlers from the
- Choose a small, child-sized, soft-bristled toothbrush. Soaking the brush in warm water for a few minutes before brushing will soften the bristles.
- Both the American Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend using an amount of fluoride toothpaste the size of a grain of rice as soon as your baby’s first tooth appears. You can graduate to a pea-sized amount when your child turns 3 years old.
- Brush your child’s teeth twice a day – in the morning and just before bed. Spend 2 minutes brushing, concentrating a good portion of this time on the back molars. This is an area where cavities often first develop. Take turns brushing with your child, as your child may want to help.
- Replace the toothbrush every 3 or 4 months, or sooner if it shows signs of wear.
- Start flossing your child’s teeth once a day as soon as two teeth emerge that touch.
- Ask your dentist about your child’s fluoride needs. If your drinking water is not fluoridated, fluoride supplements or fluoride treatments may be needed.
- Ask your dentist about dental sealants. These are thin, plastic protective barriers that fill in the chewing surfaces of the back teeth, protecting them from tooth decay.
How Many Teeth Should My Child Have?
A general rule of thumb is that for every 6 months of life, approximately 4 teeth will erupt. By the time your child is 2-3 they should have all 20 of their primary teeth.
When Should My Child Start Seeing a Dentist?
It is generally recommended that an infant be seen by a dentist by age 1 or within 6 months after his or her first tooth comes in. This allows the dentist to inspect the teeth for any irregularities and counsel the parents on correct brushing methods and appropriate diet.
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