Parenting a baby comes with a lot of exciting firsts! From first steps to first words, there is always something novel and new to celebrate! As soon as you see baby’s first tooth come in, it’s time to start thinking about children’s dental care.
You may be wondering “Does dental care for kids really begin when my baby only has one tooth?” The answer is yes! The right time to learn how to brush baby’s teeth is as soon as they have visible teeth to brush!
Don’t simply head over to the cabinet and get out the spare toothbrush! There are some considerations to keep in mind when you’re brushing baby teeth! Read on to learn the right way to help your child begin an oral hygiene routine that will influence their overall health for life!
A Clean Routine
Brushing baby teeth is not intended to do the same as brushing adult teeth, or even the teeth of older children. More than anything, its purpose is to introduce a novel sensory experience to your baby. Your dental hygiene routine can provide a beautiful opportunity to bond with your child while making them feel safe and cared for.
Because babies and young children thrive on routine, the goal should be to normalize the act of tooth brushing and include it as just another essential component of the day. It’s one of the best ways to build healthy habits.
No Teeth? No Problem
If you want to begin the routine even before your baby has cut any teeth, you can brush your baby’s gums. You can do this with a wet washcloth after your baby eats. You can also buy a baby gum brush specifically for this purpose.
How To Brush Baby’s Teeth
You can expect to see a tooth poking through beginning as early as six months. At this time, you can transition from a washcloth or gum brush to a special infant and toddler toothbrush. This is a small brush with very soft bristles.
You do not need to use any toothpaste until your baby has several teeth. You can choose to use fluoride-free toothpaste specifically for children under the age of two. Until your child has enough teeth to brush, you may wish to continue washing their gums with the washcloth after eating.
The easiest way to brush your baby’s teeth is while they are laying down. Make sure that you support their head during this process. Use one hand to lift the lips and cheeks, while the other hand maneuvers the toothbrush.
Including tooth brushing as part of the normal daily routine is one of the best ways to improve dental healthcare from an early age.
Shiny, Gummy Smiles
Now that you know how to brush baby’s teeth, you can begin to form the positive habits and routines that are essential for good oral health. Many parents find that an early oral health routine improves their baby’s overall physical health! If you have questions, the best thing to do is consult with a pediatric dentist for more guidance and advice!
There’s also more guidance and advice available on the blog! Check out the other recent posts for more wisdom that can help you lead a better life!
Wayne Probert is a senior reporter at Zobuz, covering state and national politics, and he is a grantee with the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. Before joining Zobuz, he worked as a freelance journalist in Kentucky, having been published by dozens of outlets including NPR, the Center for Media.