Oral healthcare is important, especially for babies. We’re not telling you anything you don’t know, of course, but lots of people aren’t fully aware of how to brush baby teeth, or when they’re supposed to start. Not to worry, that’s why we’re here! Find out everything you need to know about how to brush baby teeth.
What If There’s Nothing to Brush?
Even though your child’s baby teeth haven’t come through yet, it’s still a good idea to wipe their gums during bath time. There’s no need to use toothpaste or an infant toothbrush (although you can use a baby gum brush if you want). Your best bet is to simply take a washcloth or bit of gauze, wrap it around your finger and rub it gently over your baby’s gums. This keeps the mouth fresh and bacteria-free, while also getting your baby used to the idea of having their mouth cleaned. Trust us, this will make the teething period much, much simpler!
The A-B-Cs of Baby Teeth Brushing
After your baby’s teeth start to appear, it’s time to start brushing. Although “milk teeth” are just temporary, that doesn’t mean that dental hygiene is unimportant in these early years. From establishing healthy dental habits to good nutrition and speech development, there are plenty of reasons why it’s key to start brushing baby teeth as soon as the first tooth comes in. All you need is a baby toothbrush and some non-fluoride (for now) toothpaste. What’s the best way to brush baby teeth? Check out our handy tips for keeping your baby’s mouth in tip-top shape:
Brush twice a day
Use a small amount of toothpaste without fluoride (add fluoride after age 2)
If your baby will let you, brush their tongue as well
Brush gently on both the inside and outside of the baby teeth
Once the baby toothbrush becomes rough or frayed, it’s time to throw it away
Take Baby Steps
There are plenty of tots who’ll hate the experience of brushing their teeth, and will do absolutely anything to get out of it. We’ve come across a few in our time, and we’ve found plenty of ways to work around it:
Take it easy. Your baby’s gums and teeth are super sensitive, so make sure that when you’re brushing, you do it as gently as possible.
Show them how to do it. Show your baby just how fun brushing their teeth can be. A positive attitude and a little patience can go a long way. And the payoff for mastering this lesson is a beautiful white smile!
Turn brushing into a game. Naturally, your baby is going to be curious about why you’re brushing their teeth, so try to let them explore and play as much as possible. Why not let your baby hold the brush? You never know, they may even end up putting it in their mouth all on their own.
Hit the high notes. Sometimes, all it takes is a little bit of distraction. Sing a favorite song to keep your little one occupied while you clean their teeth. Who knows, this could be the beginning of their career as a rock star!
Brush Up on the Right Tools.
When you start brushing your baby’s teeth, make sure that you’re using a specially-designed baby or infant toothbrush, rather than a brush that’s intended to be used by adults. There are lots of different options to choose from. For brushing baby teeth, the best option is probably a baby toothbrush with super-soft bristles.
So, while brushing baby teeth correctly isn’t exactly child’s play, it’s also something that you and your baby can make an important part of his or her overall health routine. Because, after all, what’s more precious than your little one’s smile?