Pediatric Dentistry: To Brush or Not to Brush?

kids cleaning teethIf you have children you’ve probably found yourself wondering at some point when you are supposed to start brushing their tiny teeth. Many people do not realize that pediatric dentistry is just as important as dental care for adults. It is a common misconception that young children’s’ teeth do not need as much maintenance because they’re temporary. On the contrary, we believe that the best time to start caring for your child’s oral hygiene is before the first primary (baby) tooth even erupts.

When to Start

Young infants that do not have any teeth only need minimal dental maintenance. The easiest method is to use a soft, clean, moist cloth on your finger and wipe along the gums several times a day, preferably after feedings. As babies grow and develop, their first teeth will erupt in different stages, often one pair of teeth at a time. These new teeth should be gently brushed with a soft-bristled, age appropriate toothbrush at least once a day, or before bedtime. Your child’s first dental visit should be scheduled soon after the first tooth appears, and no later than the first birthday.

How to Make it Fun

Showing your child how to brush and floss at an early age will lay a foundation of excellent oral hygiene for the future. Though it isn’t always easy, there are ways to make caring for your child’s teeth fun for everyone involved.

  • Buy a “special” toothbrush for your child. A toothbrush that depicts your child’s favorite character, or one that plays music, can keep your child engaged in the brushing process.
  • Make up your own silly song to sing while your child is brushing, and have him/her brush until the song is over. This way, the child gets accustomed to how long the brushing process should take, and won’t grow bored with routine.


For over 15 years, Dr. Michele Collier and the talented professionals at Waterstone Family Dentistry have provided comfortable, compassionate dental care to patients of all ages from Fuquay Varina, NC, as well as Holly Springs, Angier, Willow Springs, Raleigh, and all surrounding communities. If you’d like to learn more, you can schedule a consultation with Dr. Collier by calling (919) 557-5250 today.

One Comment

Douglas Brown

We have been wondering when the best time to start our children on dentist care would be, and like you said, infants that do not have any teeth will not need much in that department. Using a soft, moist cloth along the gum lines is something that we have not been doing too much of, but I think we will start to do that. We will remember to schedule the first appointment after our daughters tooth appear. Thanks for the tips!


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