Your little bundle of joy has arrived and you are balancing feeding schedules, sleep, diaper changes and remembering to take care of yourself! While we can’t be there to help with your daily routine of life with a baby, we can help you with your baby’s (future) teeth! For parents of babies, a common question is “when should I start brushing my baby’s teeth?” While the simple answer is ‘when the first tooth erupts,’ oral health care of little ones should start before the first tooth erupts.
A great way to get a baby comfortable with an oral health care routine is to start early! Even though teeth aren’t present, the gums are very important and wiping them with a washcloth or gauze after feedings is recommended. Once the first tooth erupts, around 6 months, a soft bristled toothbrush can be used to brush the tooth/teeth. Most retailers will have a toothbrush marketed for infants – it is important to find a toothbrush that is created to be extra gentle on a baby’s gums and teeth.
Common signs of teething – fussiness, trouble sleeping or changes in sleep patterns, putting hands in mouth, chewing on toys/clothes, drooling more than usual, and rubbing their cheeks/pulling at ear. Massaging the gums will help soothe the area – we recommend using a clean, damp, cold washcloth to massage the area.
It is important to remember that all children are different and tooth eruption is different for every baby. Not all babies will start teething at 6 months, some will get teeth earlier and some later. While our team at Bite Size Pediatric Dentistry recommends a child’s first dental visit around their 1st birthday, if questions arise sooner regarding teething and oral development, we are always happy to help!
Check out this chart for a guideline on tooth eruption timing –
At your baby’s first dental visit, we will discuss home care and non-nutritive habits (thumb sucking, pacifier use) and give recommendations based on your little one’s needs. The dentist will examine the development of the teeth and jaw and check for cavities. Starting dental visits early will help your child learn to love the dentist and help to form a healthy relationship with dental care.
We look forward to meeting you and your little one soon!