Your toddler’s primary teeth can be just a temporary tool to bite, to be replaced by his permanent teeth in the early school years. However, it is very important to take proper care of the teeth now and to establish a routine so that it will lead him toward a lifetime of oral health.
Lost baby teeth or decayed teeth can interfere with speech development and good nutrition, and by not holding a proper position for permanent teeth, they can cause the permanent tooth come in crooked.
What age do you start brushing baby’s teeth?
From the beginning first tooth, your toddler will benefit from good dental care. Here is when to start brushing baby’s teeth.
You can start tooth brushing once the baby’s first tooth appears through the gums. Make use of gauze pads, a clean, damp washcloth, or a finger brush in order to wipe clean the baby’s first teeth gently and the tongue’s front, after having meals and during the bedtime.
You can also use moistened toothbrushes with a rice-grain size spread of toothpaste with fluoride. However, they must be very soft and should contain only 3-rows of bristles. A pharmacist or your pediatric dentist can help you get a proper baby toothbrush and the finger brushes.
Throw away any toothbrushes, which are more than 2 – 4 months old, or that have become rough on its edges, since nasty bacteria inside the mouth can start to develop.
When do you start brushing baby gums?
Pediatric dentists suggest cleaning toddler’s gums after feedings since it promotes good dental health and helps fight the growth of bacteria, long before toddler’s first tooth begin to appear.
Instead of cleaning baby’s gums using a toothbrush, use a soft, damp cloth, or an infant soft silicone or rubber finger toothbrush. Both options are gentle having a nubby texture that babies tend to love.
Is fluoride toothpaste safe for toddlers?
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry-AAPD suggests using fluoride toothpaste that prevents cavities beginning with toddler’s very first tooth, instead of waiting for 2 or 3 years of age.
In the beginning, use a rice-grain-sized spread of toothpaste for your toddler or baby, and then, by age 3, graduate to a pea-sized dollop. Don’t worry if some of the toothpaste is swallowed by your toddler, as he almost definitely will. In such a little quantity, it won’t result in any damage to the teeth. Beginning in the 2nd year, you can train your baby to spit after teeth brushing.
How to teach a child to brush teeth?
Your toddler or older baby will perhaps want to brush himself with his hand. Allow him to brush if he has the dexterity and doesn’t get frustrated. However, ensure you follow it up with a more thorough washing of your own, with a gauze pad or finger brush, before the bedtime.
To instill his interest in the oral care, try a fun brush having a bright color and favorite character.
Allow your baby watch Dad and Mom taking proper care of their teeth so that he learns that brushing the teeth is a habit to keep and maintain for life.
How to brush baby’s teeth when they refuse?
Unfortunately, not every toddler likes getting his teeth cleaned. When the toddler is teething and his gums are tender and sore, then he can be resistant to a greater extent. Here is what you can try if toddler brushing teeth struggle happens:
(1) Use a soft washcloth.
Toddler’s gums are sensitive even when he is not teething. So, go easy. If he really doesn’t appear to like brushing the teeth, then try a gentle touch and a soft washcloth.
(2) How to make brushing teeth fun for a toddler?
Sing a favorite toddler brush teeth song. For some toddlers, a small distraction is the only thing that takes to make brushing tooth palatable. When cleaning the teeth of your baby, sing a favorite tune, or invent silly versions of standards. It can be “Mary had a tiny tooth”, or “Old McDonald had a toothbrush”. Your baby can reward you with a little-toothed smile without crying.
(3) Let your baby observe the step by step process of how to brush your teeth properly.
Watching dad or mom brushing the teeth and enjoying it helps create a game out of teeth brushing time. “Dad goes first, now it is your turn!”
(4) Let your baby play.
Your toddler will possibly be curious about the finger brush or toothbrush. Encourage his interest by letting him hold the toothbrush and examine it at his own pace. The baby can even end up placing the brush in his mouth, all on his own.