While your child’s “baby” teeth might only be temporary, it is important that you take good care of them. You will not only establish healthy habits for your child to take with them as they grow, but you will provide a good foundation for the permanent set of teeth. Prematurely lost or decayed baby teeth can tamper with good oral health, nutrition and speech development. They also hold a place for permanent teeth so that they do not come in wrong. In this article, we will help you figure out when to start brushing baby’s teeth.
When to start brushing your baby’s teeth?
You can begin brushing your baby’s teeth as soon as their very first tooth begins to erupt through the gums. You can use a damp, clean washcloth as well as a gauze pad to get started. Simply wipe the first teeth as they appear as well as the front of the tongue. You will want to do this after they eat and at bedtime.
You can use a toothbrush if you would like but they should be soft and not have more than three bristle rows. If you do go this route, you need to use water and a small size of toothpaste no larger than a rice grain.
Should you brush their gums?
Dentists for children do recommend that you clean your baby’s gums each time that they eat. This can help stop any bacteria from growing. By way of this, you will be supporting good oral health.
You can do this before even the first tooth starts to emerge. Instead of using a harsh toothbrush on their little gums, do this using a soft cloth. You can dampen it or instead use a silicone finger brush for greater control and softness. Both of these options are gentle and nubby which your little one is sure to enjoy the feeling of.
Is fluoride toothpaste safe?
It is recommended that if you want to use toothpaste, you use cavity preventing fluoride varieties. You can start using this toothpaste as soon as their teeth begin to erupt. You need to start doing this right when their first tooth comes in instead of waiting until they are two. This was once recommended but is not anymore.
Start by using a smear of toothpaste that is no bigger than a grain of rice. You can go up to a pea-sized amount when they are three. You don’t need to worry if they swallow the toothpaste due to the small amount.
Teaching your baby to brush
When your baby gets older, you can start teaching them how to brush their own teeth. When they reach toddler age, they may want to learn how to do it. Encourage these habits. You can let him try it out. Be sure that you follow up with a better cleaning done by yourself after the fact, though; it is likely they won’t do it right for a while until a lot of practice has been had.
If you want to encourage them to take care of their teeth, find them a fun toothbrush to use and let them watch you take care of your own teeth.
How to make tooth brushing easier for the baby
It is likely that your baby will not be excited about having their teeth brushed–at least not at first. When the baby is teething, his or her gums might be tender, painful and sore, so it might make it even harder on you. Try out these tips if you are having issues brushing their teeth.
Sing a song while you work
For some little ones, it will only take a bit of a distraction to make the process easier. You might be able to get away with singing a song to distract them. Choose their favorite tune or come up with your own creative songs.
Your child’s gums are sensitive, even during times when they are not teething. If your baby does not like to have their teeth brushed, you can be gentle and use a soft washcloth. This may help ease them into it.
Let the baby play around
It is likely that the baby will want to find out more about the brush at hand. You can let them hold it and look at it to satisfy their curiosity. You might notice that they put it in their own mouths. This may make the baby more comfortable with the idea.
Show them how it’s done. Every time you brush their teeth, be sure to brush theirs first. Make it look fun and they might feel better about it.
Tips for brushing baby’s teeth
Below you will find a few tips on how to brush your baby’s teeth effectively.
Brush them twice a day
Just like you do as an adult, it is important to brush your baby’s teeth regularly. Brush them early in the morning and then again at night before bed. You will want to use a small baby toothbrush that has a small head.
Brush their teeth gently
Be gentle but get both the outside and the inside of your baby’s tooth. If the baby will let you, try to brush their tongue as well. This will get rid of bacteria that causes bad breath.
Use only a small amount of toothpaste
Avoid giving your baby too much fluoride by only using a small amount of toothpaste at a time. You can use just a smear, or opt to use a dot no bigger than a grain of rice.
Toss the toothbrush when the time comes
When the bristles begin to look worn or sharp, get rid of the toothbrush.
In this article, we have helped you determine when to start brushing baby’s teeth. Are you brushing your child’s teeth? Do you have any questions about brushing their teeth going forward? Let us know in the comments section below.