Many parents have questions about when to start brushing their child’s baby teeth. This article will cover when you should begin to prevent tooth decay and encourage good oral health. We’ll also talk about the mechanics of brushing, what you should use, and how you can convince young children to let you do it. Finally, we’ll talk about what to do if your child resists this essential daily routine.
When To Start Brushing Your Baby’s Teeth
Brushing your baby’s teeth morning and night is the best way to avoid cavities. But how do you know when to start brushing a baby’s teeth? Of course, babies six months or younger won’t need you to brush their teeth because they have no teeth, and their gums are made of soft material that rinses clean when wet. Dental health experts recommend starting toothbrushing with a soft toothbrush and water as soon as the very first tooth emerges, usually around six months of age. You can start getting your baby used to having something clean their mouth by wiping a damp cloth over their gums at bath time too.
Can a Baby Use Fluoride Toothpaste?
No. Your baby isn’t able to spit out the toothpaste so just use water on their toothbrush until they turn about 18 months old. Toddlers from 18months to children 6 years old should use a pea-sized amount of children’s toothpaste. Children’s toothpaste has less fluoride than adult toothpaste to help prevent kids from getting too much fluoride before they can spit out all the toothpaste properly.
Choosing The Right Toothbrush For Your Baby
A damp washcloth can be used to gently clean your baby’s gums and mouth while they’re still waiting for teeth. This will prepare them for when the time comes to use a brush and allow you to wipe away any bacteria living on their gums.
As their first tooth comes through, choose an infant toothbrush with soft bristles. You should always choose a toothbrush made specifically for children; these brushes are perfectly sized for a baby’s mouth and the bristles are nice and soft.
What To Do If Your Baby Dislikes Having Their Teeth Brushed
Brushing your baby’s teeth can be difficult and some babies may not like it at first. Be patient and praise your baby for good behaviour, such as opening their mouth wide enough. Let them play with their brush in the bath or play tooth brushing games to help them get used to using their toothbrush.
Don’t make a fuss. If you let your baby see that brushing is a big deal, sometimes they may react accordingly. Calmly approach the task and speak softly if you can do so without disrupting your baby’s focus on their stuffed animal (or whatever else they are busy focusing on at the moment). This will show your baby that brushing teeth is an everyday activity, not one that demands attention and noise.
With some babies, you will have to start with something smaller or less disruptive first; a finger brush, a washcloth, a singing toothbrush routine. Whatever it takes. The more relaxed and happy your little one is, the better.
Sing A Song
It can be an excellent idea to sing a song when you’re brushing your baby’s teeth. Studies show that babies and toddlers enjoy having their teeth brushed while they listen to the rhythmic sounds of a well-known tune.
Let Them Play
The key to convincing a toddler that brushing teeth is something they enjoy and not just another task you herd them through is to sneak in some quality time. Let your kid play with their toothbrush even if she gets water or toothpaste all over the bathroom.
Brush Their Teeth With The Whole Family
If you keep your baby involved with tooth brushing from the start, they might be more likely to accept it as a regular part of their routine. Our kids define what’s normal through our actions, not our words. Showing them that all family members brush their teeth is one way to show them that this is an activity that’s necessary for good oral hygiene, and therefore normal and not to be feared.
Healthy Teeth, Healthy Baby
You can do many other things to ensure your baby has healthy teeth and good dental hygiene. The Australian Dental Association recommends scheduling your child’s first visit to the dentist around the time they reach 12 months. This is the perfect time to introduce your child to their first dentist and establish good oral hygiene habits.
When you take your child for their first dental care checkup, make it a fun and exciting activity. That way they don`t associate fear with visiting the dentist. Talk to them about the dentist counting and checking their teeth and making sure their teeth are nice and healthy. Positive experiences are what we want!