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Posted in Article on 11:43AM, 11 March, 2020

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When will be the best time to brush teeth for a baby?

Interesting topic as most of parents did not know that you can actually do dental care as early at 6 months of age!

When should I start brushing my baby's teeth?

  • Dental care for baby teeth can start before your baby’s first tooth appears.
  • A couple of times a day, you can gently wipe your baby’s gums using a damp, clean face washer or gauze.
  • This helps your baby get ready for brushing when the first tooth arrives.
  • As soon as teeth arrive, you can clean them twice a day – in the morning and before bed.
  • Use a small, soft toothbrush designed for children under two years.
  • If your baby doesn’t like the toothbrush in her mouth, keep using the face washer or gauze to wipe the front and back of each of your baby’s teeth.

Should I brush my baby's gums?

  • Dentists recommend cleaning baby's gums after feedings, which helps fight bacterial growth and promotes good oral health, long before baby's first teeth start to appear.
  • Rather than cleaning baby's gums with a toothbrush, try a soft, damp cloth, or even a soft rubber or silicone finger brush, both gentle options with a nubby texture babies tend to love.

Can babies use fluoride toothpaste?

  • American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends using cavity-preventing fluoride toothpaste starting with baby's very first tooth, rather than waiting until age 2 as was previously recommended.
  • And don't worry if your baby swallows some of the toothpaste (as she almost certainly will) — in such a small quantity, it won't cause any damage to the teeth.
  • Starting in the second year, you can teach your toddler to spit after brushing.

Preventing early tooth decay

  • Don’t put your baby to sleep with a bottle. When your baby is asleep, there’s less saliva in his mouth to protect his teeth.
  • If your baby falls asleep with a bottle, formula or milk might slowly drip into your baby’s mouth and soak his teeth. This puts him at risk of tooth decay.
  • Also note that putting your baby to sleep with a bottle is a choking risk.

Dr Sum Wai Thean (Raymond)
Consultant Paediatrician