When to start brushing baby's teeth

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When to start brushing baby's teeth

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Children begin to teethe at about six to eight months of age. You'll notice that your baby begins to drool a lot and chew on their hand. When they do this, I actually see it as an opportunity not only to make them more comfortable, but to prepare them for future tooth brushing. I suggest that parents give their children a clean finger, gum massage a couple times a day. This will serve two functions. First, it will help children to be more comfortable; and second, it teaches them to be comfortable with their parents manipulating their mouth. Once they have teeth, I recommend you start brushing them. Brush them twice a day, in the morning and after their last meal of the deal, once they have achieved the milestone of sleeping through the night. Whether or not to use fluoride depends on whether or not the water supply that you are drinking is already fluoridated. The municipal supplies are usually already fluoridated and that is adequate. To use a toothpaste with fluoride in a child who is not coordinated enough to spit it, you may actually expose them to a higher level of fluoride than we would like. That can result in fluorosis, which is the deposition of fluoride in your bone and your teeth. It can lead to permanent staining of your teeth.

Watch Video: When to start brushing baby's teeth by Lawrence Kagan, MD, ...

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Lawrence Kagan, MD

Pediatrician

Lawrence Kagan, MD, FAAP, is a UCLA honors graduate, with a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry. He received medical training at USC Keck School of Medicine, and completed his internship and residency in Pediatrics at Children's Hospital Los Angeles. In addition to passionately studying neonatal, general pediatric and adolescent medicine at CHLA, he had the opportunity to train under some of the greatest minds in subspecialty pediatrics, diagnosing and managing the rarest and most complicated childhood ailments. Prior to opening Westside Pediatrics, he worked as an attending physician at the CHLA Emergency Department as well as at Cedars Sinai Urgent Care. Dr. Kagan is a native of Los Angeles and is happily married with two children.

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