Oral hygiene is as important as anything else with a baby. Many parents have various questions about keeping a baby’s teeth clean. Going about it in the proper manner is probably the first one you have. Others include when to start brushing a baby’s teeth and what to do if your infant hates brushing teeth.
Parents should look at beginning to clean the baby’s mouth a lot earlier than most people realize. As soon as the first tooth breaks through your baby’s gums, tooth decay can start to set in, and it is imperative that you start brushing as soon as this happens. You should have set a good oral care regime in place, so the baby is not uncomfortable with the brushing process by this time. A good routine will ensure healthy teeth and gums.
Should I be brushing my baby’s gums?
While you do not need to start brushing your baby’s gums with a toothbrush and toothpaste until the first tooth breaks through, you do need to keep the gums clean on a daily basis. Cleaning your baby’s gums can be started a few days after birth. Cleaning your baby’s gums daily also helps set a routine with your baby. This helps ensure that your baby is used to regular mouth cleanings by the time the first tooth comes in.
Every baby teethes differently, so it might be difficult to tell when the first tooth begins to breakthrough. If your baby’s mouth is free of decay-causing bacteria, it can help protect that first tooth when it breaks through. This can be done by wiping the gums daily.
To effectively clean your baby’s gums, use a toothbrush specifically made for infants, like a niñio baby finger brush. You can also use a clean, damp washcloth to wipe your baby’s gums gently. When you know your child is teething, it is recommended that you freeze or refrigerate a damp washcloth for a few minutes before you clean your baby’s gums. This can help soothe sore gums while teething.
When should I start brushing my baby’s teeth?
Many parents are confused about when to start brushing their baby’s teeth. The first tooth signs break through the gums when the baby is about six to eight months old. Most parents start using a toothbrush and toothpaste when this happens. Pediatricians recommend that you use a toothbrush that is safe for the baby. Like the baby finger brush from niñio baby, a BPA-free silicone toothbrush will go a long way towards problem-free brushing.
As soon as the tooth is partly out of the gums, plaque can start building upon the tooth’s surface and cause decay. The buildup of plaque can be countered by regular brushing with fluoride toothpaste. This is why dentists recommend that you start brushing a baby’s teeth as soon as they start showing.
While brushing a baby’s teeth might not always be easy, it is essential to establish a good oral healthcare routine. Whether they like it or not, a good oral care regime is important for the baby’s teeth. Regular brushing is essential to keep your baby’s mouth healthy and prevent potentially serious infections.
How do I brush my baby’s teeth?
Children are still growing, and their teeth are more sensitive than ours. Brushing should start as soon as the first tooth emerges. Parents should make sure to follow these steps when brushing their toddler’s teeth:
- Make sure that the toothbrush has soft bristles. The softer the bristles, the gentler they will be on your little one’s developing teeth and gums. Silicone bristles make the baby feel comfortable about brushing.
- The toothbrush should have a small head. This will ensure that the toothbrush fits in their tiny mouths better and goes into all the nooks and crevices without making the child uncomfortable. Place the brush at a 45-degree angle to the teeth. A baby finger brush will go a long way in making your baby, and you feel comfortable when you start brushing your baby’s teeth. This is because you know how much pressure you are applying, and the baby is not confronted with a completely foreign object.
- Make sure you brush their teeth twice a day, once in the morning and before bed. This ensures creating a habit for when they grow up.
- The toothpaste on the brush should be akin to a grain of rice. Use toothpaste that contains fluoride. The amount of toothpaste can be increased to the size of a pea as your child is about three years old. As the child gets older, gains more teeth, and can spit better, toothpaste can also be increased.
- Brush their teeth for two minutes. The brushing motion should be back and forth, as gently as possible. Make sure to cover every little tooth’s front and back surfaces.
- When your baby is about two years old, dentists recommend flossing. This is especially if your child has teeth that are touching and the bristles do not go in between. Take a small length of floss in between your fingers and gently floss the baby’s teeth.
How do I brush my baby’s teeth when they refuse?
So you have got all your theory down about how to brush your baby’s teeth, but what if your baby does not let the toothbrush go near their mouth? Tantrums are common with babies, and one of the times that is most common to throw one is during brushing time. Using the following techniques might help:
A good way to start off brushing your baby’s teeth is by distracting the baby. For this, it will be good if you have another adult to assist you in your efforts. Two adults should sit facing each other. Their knees should be touching. Lay your baby down so that the head is resting on the lap of one adult and the legs on the other adult’s legs. This is to make sure that the baby is stable and will not fall.
Once the baby is secure, you should have the adult with the baby’s head on their lap use one hand to gently lift the infant’s lips. The teeth should be prominent. Using the other hand, gently brush their teeth in the recommended manner.
During this time, the other adult should be distracting the child by making noises, talking to it gently, or singing. It also helps hold the baby’s hands as the child may reach for the toothbrush.
If there is no one to help you out, fret not, as the same thing can be done alone. Place your child’s head on your lap and use one hand to lift the lips while brushing with the other. Make sure your baby is stable, and try to sing or talk to your baby through the process to keep it distracted. You can also try putting a finger from the side of the mouth to keep it open, but this is only if your baby’s back molars haven’t started coming out yet.
There is quite an array of toothpaste available for adults on the market. These are traditionally minty fresh. Children may not like the spicy taste or burning nature of these toothpaste. As mentioned before, children’s teeth and gums are more sensitive, so is their sense of taste. Toothpaste that is specifically made for children is readily available on the market. Flavors range from candy to bubblegum and are milder flavored to suit your little one. Choose a brand you know of, and it should contain the right amount of recommended fluoride. Remember, a dab the size of a grain of rice to start with, and bigger as they get older.
Toothbrushes made for children are also available on the market. The brushes are generally classified according to age and have progressively bigger heads. These come with the softest bristles, keeping in mind the sensitive teeth and gums of your little one. When you begin brushing your baby’s teeth, use a finger brush. A finger brush like the one available on the Niniobaby website is ideal for your baby. This comes with a clear silicone body. It is transparent.
This means that the baby sees your finger and is not afraid of what is going into its mouth. The Baby Finger Brush also comes with soft silicone bristles that are not abrasive. The baby feels comfortable while you are brushing its teeth. This brush is also BPA-free. You do not have to worry about any harmful chemicals getting into your baby’s body during brushing. With the Baby Finger Brush, brushing usually becomes a fun activity for you and your baby. You can use the Baby Finger Brush and make a game of your brushing routine. This way, your baby recognizes brushing as another time to bond and play with you.
Set a routine. Try to brush your baby’s teeth simultaneously every day, once in the morning and before bed. Babies and children tend to be less fussy when they know what to expect, and setting a routine of brushing at a specific time of the day will get them used to it. The earlier you do this, the better your baby’s chances of getting used to it faster.
Playing music, singing, talking to the baby are all ways of distracting the baby from what is going on. If these do not work, a quick fix is to give your baby’s favorite toy or something else that the baby can hold on to. The toy may provide enough distraction for you to finish brushing their teeth.
No matter how hard it may seem at first, we recommend that you persevere. Establishing good oral hygiene and setting up a routine for your baby or toddler will help when they grow up in dental health. Sing, play, and talk to them in silly voices, do whatever it may take to get the job done.
As your baby grows up, you must help your child brush their teeth until they are old enough to do it independently. Kids generally start brushing well on their own when they are about seven to eight years old.