Start Brushing with Baby’s First Tooth

When should I start cleaning my baby’s teeth is a question many parents ask. The answer is straightforward; parents should brush their child’s teeth when the first tooth arrives.

Babies will begin to show signs of teething about two to three weeks before the first tooth appears. Of the many teething symptoms that your baby can have, you should look out for the usually symptoms of teething, such as, excessive drooling, fussiness – especially during feeding, and your baby’s insatiable desire to chew on just about everything. If your infant is showing signs of discomfort you can try traditional remedies or purchase teething rungs or homeopathic teething remedies.

Parents should start brushing their baby’s teeth from the moment the first tooth appears. You should clean your baby’s teeth with a baby toothbrush. You shouldn’t use any form of toothpaste, as there is every chance your child will swallow this, and ingested toothpaste can be harmful to your child. Some babies can fuss when you first begin to brush their teeth. It is important that you don’t allow your child’s behaviour to stop your brushing. If your baby is unwilling to have his teeth brushed, try giving them a toothbrush of their own. They usually enjoying chomping down on it and it gets them familiar with this new implement. Be sure to use a clean brush and not the child’ brush when you clean. Also, never let your child chew on their brush without your supervision; there is every chance of choking.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends an oral health risk assessment for all children by 6 months of age by a qualified pediatrician or a qualified pediatric health care professional, using the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry Caries Risk Assessment Tool. Caries is cavity formation in teeth caused by bacteria that attach to teeth and form acids in the presence of sucrose, other sugars, and refined starches:; this condition is better known as tooth decay.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention believe that early childhood caries, decay of the tooth, may be the most common infectious disease in children. It is believed 40 percent of children under 5 years of age are infected. Dental caries is five times more common than asthma and seven times more common than hay fever in children. If not treated, caries in children can result in chronic pain and early tooth loss, failure to thrive, malocclusion, inability to concentrate at school or absence from school, reduced self-esteem and psychosocial problems.

Caries can also be passed from caregiver to baby, so it is also essential that parents practice good oral hygiene. Avoid sharing spoons, wash pacifiers with water and not by cleaning it with your own saliva. Any object that your baby places in their mouth should also be sterilized after washing. Never share a bottle between siblings.

Teething is a long, drawn-out process and the symptoms can be upsetting for both child and parents. The best teething remedy for your child is by regular brushing of their teeth. We all get two chances for that perfect smile; milk teeth and then adult teeth. Take care of those teeth and your baby will reward you with a beautiful smile.