Pediatric dentists recommend that children start seeing a dentist at approximately one year of age, though many are ready closer to three years of age.
Once that first tooth emerges, however, it needs to be cleaned! For infants, start with either a wet washcloth or toddler brush, and water or a non-flouridated paste.
At two years of age, you can start using a pea-sized amount of fluoride paste and teach your child to “swish and spit” rather than swallowing. Also teach them to brush their tongue.
If your toddler resists tooth-brushing, try letting him hold one brush and you hold another to “share” the job. Be firm- this is not an area to compromise.
Many people in this area have wells supplying their drinking water. If your child has no other source of fluoridated water (i.e. in day care or school), we recommend fluoride supplements in the form of drops or chewable tablets, starting at 6 months of age.
Alternatively, you can purchase fluoridated water in the supermarket- we recommend 8 ounces a day.
Your dentist can provide a fluoride testing kit to confirm that there is no naturally occurring fluoride in your well-water.
The age at which infants develop teeth can vary widely. As infants gum their food, there is no need for teeth to eat most solids. See below for a chart on the average age for tooth eruption: