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Dental: Teethbrushing--when to start

1344 Views 18 Replies 15 Participants Last post by  KirstenMary
Ds will be 1 in 2 weeks.
He has 6 teeth, 4 on top, 2 on bottom, plus I believe he is currently working on his 1 year molars.

I have heard varying ideas/thoughts about the first visit to the dentist and teethbrushing. Ds's father has horrible teeth, actually his entire family has horrific teeth, so this is one hereditary "trait" I do not want ds to experience.

But, what can I expect from a 1 year old in regards to brushing? When do I take him to the dentist?

Please share your thoughts and experiences on this one.

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I waited too long to start brushing and my oldest has already had about 11 fillings.

With my second, I started brushing almost as soon as his teeth came through because I just don't want him to have the decay like his brother.

Our pediatric dentist suggested coming at 6 months. My kids didn't even have teeth at 6 months! My youngest is 2 & hasn't been to a dentist yet. I would only take him right now if I thought there were cavities.

I would start the teeth brushing with your son & hold off on the dentist until he's older, unless you think there's a problem.
I had a friend who waited too long and her DS had many caries when by the time he was 2. I was so freaked out about that happening to DD that I started wiping off her gums with gauze when she was around 3 months old... just to get her used to the action of brushing her teeth. I bought one of those soft finger toothbrushes and some organic all natural baby toothpaste of sorts, and started brushing her teeth when they errupted, at 4 months. The good news is that she's now 4 and doesn't have any cavities and is pretty used to brushing her teeth. From my friends who've waited longer, it seems that the earlier you start the better, IMO! And in terms of the dentist, DD has only had one appointment and it was fine. I also think it's fine to hold off until they are older unless its necessary to go!
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My DD is 10mo and she got 4 teeth in the last month! We started as soon as her first one came through. I got her a baby toothbrush and I give it to her to hold while I clean my teeth. She watches me and puts the right end in her mouth copying what I do. Then when I have finished mine I help her give her teeth a brush. We havent used any toothpaste yet.

DD likes her toothbrush so much she cries when I take it to rinse it off and has been known to hold it whilst nursing!
Moving this to the Dental forum....
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I also waited to long, my DD has a cap on a molar and had several fillings under general anesthesia. It was awful for me and a little hard on her - she doesnt' do anesthesia well, neither do I! We now brush 3 times a day (on a good day) and flossing twice a week and floride tablets nightly. I just don't want her to go thru this again on her baby teeth.

Next time, I am starting young as nimamom stated. It should be easier and less costly in the end!

Good luck to you!
I too started cleaning as soon as ds's teeth came in, though we didn't take him to the dentist until he was 4.5 - no cavities (we have good dental genes in my family - I've never had a cavity, if that tells you anything)

When he had one or two teeth, I would put a very little bit of toothpaste on a washcloth and gently wipe his teeth and then let him chew on the wash cloth while I brushed my teeth. I think he was almost two before he had his own real toothbrush.
There's a thread in the archives that covers when to start brushing, when to start the dentist, etc.

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It is never too early to use an actual toothbrush, IMO.

My son developed cavities at 10 months (well, that is when they were bad enough for us to notice them). He had 8 teeth then (top and bottom front four). I had started brushing them at nine months consistently. Before that, I used gauze to wipe them down once a day at bedtime as soon as he had his first tooth (as I had read in The Baby Book, I think it was). The only reason I started using a brush at 9 months was my pediatrician (thankfully) told me that once they have any teeth, gauze is not enough and it is time to break out the brush.
Thanks everybody! I didn't even receive any notices that anyone had replied, much less find out the thread was moved.

We are buying our toothbrush tomorrow morning and will start immediately.

I will also check out the archive articles. I never even noticed that this forum existed, guess I need to open my eyes up a bit more!
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Ha, well, now it doesn't. Exist, that is.

Your thread didn't get moved, the entire Dental board was merged into Health and Healing.

Good luck.
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Dr. Sears says in The Baby Book to start "brushing" teeth and gums as soon as the first tooth shows up. That was 4 months for my baby. He suggests using a piece of wet gauze wrapped around your finger and there's no need for toothpaste, especially with flouride, which is what I do. If I remember correctly, he says the child should see the dentist anytime between the first tooth and his 2nd birthday.

Originally Posted by MarineWife
If I remember correctly, he says the child should see the dentist anytime between the first tooth and his 2nd birthday.
Actually the AAD recommends 6 months after the first tooth appears or 1 year, whichever comes first
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Heather, as Piglet mentioned above, your thread was moved (from the Parenting Issues board you posted it to) to the Dental board. The Dental board was shortly thereafter merged into the Health and Healing board which is why your thread is here now.

If you're having email notification problems with all the threads you post to let me know. You should receive notifications for this thread no matter where it is moved to. The thread retains its same ID number and notifications should function normally even after a thread move.
Well, here is my thoughts: I raised three kids, not one ever had a cavity. Not one. Till they went to college that is.
When did we start to brush? When they had their second teeth about 1/2 way in. Not before. No reason to brush first teeth, they fall out.
We avoided flouride. (Damages the bones.)
But we also avoided all sugars and white flour. No soda ever (till they went to college - evidently).
Not one of them ever had antibiotics till they were grown ups. As a matter of fact, two out of three have never had antibiotics yet, in their whole life. They are 32,33,35.

We did the same with my grandson, and his teeth are fine. He's 6. No cavities yet. He's been to the dentist once, just for fun.

I had rotten teeth as a kid and young adult. Lots of sugar in my diet. My husband had great teeth, still does. Very little sugar in his diet. Neither one of us used flouride ever.
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Gitti said:
Not before. No reason to brush first teeth, they fall out.
Well...with my dd....her decay started at 15 months when she was still getting most of her nourishment thru breastmilk and had not had juice or sweets or white flour. She did need to have her teeth brushed, and I was doing it seldomly thinking that it wouldn't be an issue until she started eating more solids. She had two teeth pulled at age 2 1/2 because of infection.

I would assume that Gitti, you and your family have a very low or normal bacteria count in your mouths, thus no decay. Lucky you to have moved thru childhood without dental ordeals!!!!!

Dental health is so individual, in hindsight, better safe than sorry is my opinion on brushing.
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well ... any help on how to persuade my fiesty 16 month old to brush or let me brush her teeth?

Originally Posted by Gitti
No reason to brush first teeth, they fall out.
And they also provide a path for secondary teeth. In addition, if a child has soft enamel, the best of diets may not prevent decay.

Why put a child through that kind of pain? There are both physical and emotional ramifications to rotten teeth.
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