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At what age should I start brushing my baby's teeth?

At what age should baby's teeth be brushed

Taking care of our babies' teeth is very important. Indeed, it is what will contribute to the prevention of cavities. As a result, our children will be protected against angina, cardiovascular diseases and rheumatic fever, which are known to be favored by oral bacteria.  

Find out in this article at what age you should start brushing your baby's teeth.  

At what age should I brush my baby's teeth?

In principle, tooth brushing starts as soon as the first tooth appears. That is to say, around the age of 6 months, or even less depending on the growth rate of each baby. 

That said, there are several subtleties to consider.

Before the first teeth appear

Ideally, dental cleaning should begin before the teeth are formed. It is therefore recommended to start cleaning the teeth within the first few days after birth. To do this, sterile compresses soaked in physiological serum are used. 

After the appearance of the first tooth

Here, real brushing is strongly advised because plaque is likely to set in. This can damage the baby's gum health and prevent healthy, solid tooth growth.

Fluoride dosage according to age

Previously, saline was recommended for brushing children under 18 months and 1 day. Now, the French National Authority for Health (HAS) recommends the use of a 500 ppm fluoride toothpaste for children under 3 years old.

This new recommendation was imposed following the deterioration of oral health from an early age in recent years. Fluoride helps babies by limiting microbial proliferation and renewing the minerals that make up the dental enamel. 

It is therefore advisable to choose a fluoridated toothpaste. The recommended doses vary according to the age of the child: 

  • Between 250 ppm and 600 ppm for children over 2 years old, 
  • Between 500 ppm and 1000 ppm for children over 3 years old
  • Between 1000 ppm and 1500 ppm for children over 6 years old.

As for the amount of toothpaste to use, it's best to use the size of baby's pinky nail.

For younger children, it is best to discuss this with your dentist or pediatrician before using toothpaste.     

When to start brushing baby's teeth? Dental cleaning technique according to age

Before the appearance of teeth

At this age, nothing is too complicated. All you have to do is soak a sterile compress in saline solution and wrap it around your little finger. Afterwards, all you have to do is gently rub it over the gums, from top to bottom. 

Remember to wash your hands well before each oral cleaning. This will prevent bacterial infections of the gums. The tongue should also be cleaned, as milk residue settles there. 

Get your baby used to cleaning his or her gums: this may help you avoid baby refuses to brush his teeth.  

After the first teeth appear

In order to avoid any possible irritation, you must stand behind the baby when brushing. Gentleness is the key to not scaring your baby. 

Gently sweep the brush over each of your baby's teeth. Don't forget to talk to your baby at the same time, and try to make it a game so that brushing is fun for him.

The brushing technique will gradually evolve until the child can do it alone, but remember that the brushing children's teeth children under six years of age must be supervised by an adult.

Good to know: the toothbrush used should have soft bristles and a very small head.

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Pediatric dentistry is all about working together for the well-being of your children!


Do you have a question? Dr. Adriana Agachi is at your disposal!

+33 (0)1 84 17 77 47

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