It is essential that daily brushing becomes a lifetime habit from a very young age. As parents, until children can adequately brush on their own, you have to take care of your child’s daily oral hygiene and gradually teach them how to brush. It is recommended that a baby’s mouth should be cleaned from the first few days after birth. After every feeding, their gums can be wiped with a damp washcloth or gauze pad to remove the dental plaque formed on the surface of the gums. In addition to the benefit of ensuring a clean mouth, your baby becomes accustomed to a daily dental hygiene routine of having their mouth cleaned.
When the baby teeth erupt, start cleaning the teeth with a soft damp wash cloth, at least twice a day. After the first birthday, start gently brushing the toddler’s teeth with a small and soft toothbrush. Some babies prefer a special type of baby toothbrush that fits over your finger. Up to the age of 2, adequate brushing is considered enough for plaque removal and cleaning of children’s teeth but a small quantity of toothpaste (the size of a grain of rice) may be used. Select one specifically designed for their age group. Explain to the child that the toothpaste must NOT be swallowed.
From the age of 3, a pea size amount of toothpaste should be used twice a day under adult supervision. Two to three minutes of brushing is required to adequately remove plaque.
From the age of 8, your child will probably not need your help if they have achieved adequate manual dexterity. The key to instituting good brushing habits is beginning an oral care program early. Brushing regularly, from the first tooth eruption, is essential in helping your child develop a valuable habit that will help maintain good dental hygiene for a lifetime.