When Should Children Start Brushing Their Teeth

When Should Young Children Start Brushing Their Teeth?

Starting a positive habit of daily brushing starts with parents who can make it part of a child’s daily routine

We’ve always heard that brushing after breakfast and before bedtime is essential for healthy teeth and a sparkling smile. However, we are often asked by moms about how early is too early to brush their children’s teeth. Here’s a primer to help you get started, but we always encourage you to contact Dr. Goldberg’s dentistry practice with specific questions about your children’s dental health.

Dr. Goldberg follows the advice of the American Dental Association, which advises using a pea-sized amount of toothpaste when they reach three years of age. However, you can start cleaning a child’s teeth with a wet cloth as soon as the teeth begin to come out—sometime between 6 and 12 months. This will help your children become acquainted with dental cleaning habits from an early age.

Teaching the children to spit is essential to getting them acquainted with brushing their teeth, allowing them to avoid ingesting the toothpaste. After 6 years of age, you should encourage your child to begin brushing his or her own teeth. Failing to do so can create a dependency on the parents and thus, extend the amount of time it takes for the children to gain confidence in being self-sufficient in managing daily tasks.

Finally, your children should not only expect to brush their teeth in the morning and evening, but also after a meal to ensure that they remove any residue from their food. This can also help prevent cavities early on and result in an overall good dental health as they reach adolescence. So be sure to encourage children to brush their teeth and show them how fun it can be when you all do it together as a family.

Have any other questions about dental health? Contact Dr. Goldberg’s office today to learn more about how to help you child have a healthy smile.