Start Brushing Your Child’s Teeth with Fluoride Toothpaste
It is important to start brushing your child’s teeth with fluoride toothpaste as soon as the first tooth erupts, which is at 6 months of age on average. By using fluoride toothpaste and a toothbrush, brushing your child’s tooth not only physically removes food particles, it also bathes the tooth in fluoride, a naturally-occurring mineral. Fluoride combines with saliva to strengthen teeth against acids. Acids are produced when bacteria metabolize food particles in the mouth, and this acid can lead to tooth enamel erosion and cavities. Cavities can be painful and can lead to infection.
Children under the age of 3 years should use a smear (or rice-grain amount) of fluoride toothpaste. Children over the age of 3 years should use a green-pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste. Everyone should brush their teeth for two minutes in the morning and at night.
Remember to have your child see their dentist by the first 12 months of age, then at least every 6 months afterwards.
Our team at Buffalo Pediatrics will also apply a protective fluoride varnish on your young child’s teeth at the appropriate well checks. This fluoride varnish should stay on for at least 4 hours, so there is no need to brush the night after application! Your child can eat soft foods immediately after the varnish is applied like meats, pastas, etc.; just avoid hard foods like chips, crackers, etc. Avoid eating or drinking any hot or sticky foods until the next morning to allow the
varnish to stay on the teeth longer.
If you have any additional questions, please don’t hesitate to ask one of our providers for more information.