Before your baby's teeth even begin to erupt (usually 6-12 months after birth), cleaning their gums with a soft washcloth or silicone finger brush is an important first step in healthy oral hygiene. Toothpaste does not need to be used at this point until you can see teeth in the mouth. We recommend gently wiping the gums to remove any bacteria that may be forming.
An often missed spot is right along the gumline under the lips. Running your fingers along this gumline helps dislodge and clean anything stuck there. Try to do this every night. You'll be able to detect any teeth that are erupting and prepare your baby for brushing their teeth in the future. Our pediatric dentist in Arlington, VA can help answer any questions you have at your first appointment and will help guide you and your children to start the best oral care habits so they can enjoy a lifetime of healthy and happy smiles.
Once a baby's teeth start to show through the gums, an infant toothbrush is used to keep the teeth and gums clean. We recommend using a small grain of rice amount of toothpaste and gently cleaning the teeth. We recommend toothpaste with fluoride in it (this helps protect the teeth and prevents cavities in the future).
As your child grows, more and more teeth will continue to erupt. Children will have 20 baby teeth by age 3. Flossing should begin once the teeth are touching (usually at age 2) but starting early with the pediatric flossers we give at appointments never hurt. Your child should be seen by a pediatric kids dentist by the time they are one or when their first tooth has erupted. It's important to establish a dental home early so that your children can get used to the surroundings and begin to form a trust.
Home care is extremely important. Limiting sugar foods and snacking (sugar exposure and frequency are the two leading contributors to poor oral health) is important. High sugar, high acid soft drinks should be avoided at all costs. Having regular check ups with a kids dentist in Arlington, VA will help ensure your children have happy and healthy smiles that last a lifetime.
VK Pediatric Dentistry
5001 Lee Hwy, Arlington VA 22207