A: As experienced dentists in Winnipeg, we recommend you start brushing your child’s teeth before he/she has teeth. Brushing your baby’s gums with a soft toothbrush or a washcloth wrapped around your finger is necessary to help your child kick start healthy dental habits. No toothpaste is required at this stage until your child has teeth. Use a non-fluoridated toothpaste once teeth begin to erupt and until your child can manage to spit rather than swallow the toothpaste.
Children require adult help to brush their teeth until at least the age of three years old. Studies have shown that once children are able to write their names it is a good indication that they can do a good job brushing on their own. Some children will be much older before they develop proper manual dexterity to brush adequately. It is important to supervise their brushing until you are sure that they are removing all food and bacteria by themselves. This may involve you brushing for them after they are done. Don’t forget to floss! Introducing floss or floss picks once contacts are present between teeth will get them into the important habit of flossing and prevent cavities from forming.
Book your appointment today for your family’s routine oral hygiene checkups.