Brushing your baby’s teeth is an important part of their oral hygiene routine. As soon as your baby’s first tooth pokes through, it’s time to start brushing.
Pediatric dentists recommend using a soft rubber-bristled baby toothbrush and a grain-of-rice-sized amount of toothpaste for infant tooth brushing twice a day.
Starting an oral hygiene routine early can help prevent tooth decay and establish good habits that will last a lifetime.
Brushing your baby young child’s teeth often can also help relieve teething pain and encourage healthy tooth eruption. However, it’s important to remember that babies and toddlers require special care when it comes to brushing their teeth.
There are several tips and tricks to make tooth brushing a positive experience for both you and your baby. Gradually building up how thoroughly you brush your baby’s teeth can help them get used to the process.
It’s also important to avoid sugary foods and drinks and not put babies to bed with bottles to prevent tooth decay. With patience and consistency, you can help your baby develop a healthy oral hygiene routine that will benefit them for years to come.
When to Start Brushing Baby Teeth
It is important to establish good oral hygiene habits early in a child’s life. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that parents begin cleaning their baby’s mouth even before the first tooth appears.
This can be done by gently wiping the gums with a damp cloth or gauze after feeding. This helps to remove bacteria and prevent the buildup of plaque.
Once the first tooth appears, typically around six months of age, it is time to start brushing with a soft-bristled toothbrush. At this stage, only a small amount of toothpaste, about the size of a grain of rice, should be used.
As more teeth appear, increase the amount of toothpaste to a pea-sized amount. It is important to supervise your child’s tooth brushing until they are able to do it effectively on their own, usually around age 8.
It is important to establish a regular tooth brushing routine with your child. Brushing should be done twice a day, in the morning and before bed.
This helps to remove food particles and bacteria that can cause tooth decay. Additionally, it is important to schedule regular dental checkups for your child, starting at age one. This allows the dentist to monitor your child’s oral health and catch any problems early on.
How to Brush Infant Teeth
Choosing the Right Toothbrush
When it comes to choosing a toothbrush for your infant, it’s important to select one that has soft bristles and a small head.
A toothbrush with a long handle can help you reach all areas of your baby’s mouth. Some toothbrushes even have a finger loop, which can help you maintain a better grip while you brushing baby’s teeth.
Using the Right Toothpaste
For infants, it’s recommended to use a toothpaste that does not contain fluoride until they are old enough to spit it out. A grain-of-rice-sized amount of toothpaste is enough for each brushing. Make sure to choose a toothpaste that is specifically designed for infants and is safe to swallow.
To brush your infant’s teeth, start by laying them down on a changing table or your lap. Gently brush their teeth in circular motions, making sure to clean both the front and back of each tooth.
You can also use a clean, damp washcloth or a finger brush to gently wipe clean the gums and the front of the tongue after feedings.
It’s important to brush your infant’s teeth twice a day, in the morning and before bed. As your infant’s teeth begin to come in, you can start using a soft-bristled toothbrush to clean their teeth.
Remember to always supervise your infant during brushing to prevent choking or injury. Overall, by following these simple steps to brush baby teeth, you can help ensure that your infant’s teeth stay healthy and strong.
Tips for Successful Brushing
Brushing a baby or toddler’s teeth can be a challenging task, but it is essential for their oral health. Here are some tips to make baby tooth- brushing a success:
Making it Fun
Make tooth brushing a fun and enjoyable experience for your child. Use a toothbrush with their favorite cartoon character or animal on it. Sing a song or play a game while brushing their teeth. This will help them associate tooth brushing with a positive experience.
Establishing a Routine
Establish a regular tooth brushing routine with your child. Brush their teeth twice a day, once in the morning and once before bed. Choose a specific time and place for brushing, such as after breakfast and before story time.
This will help your child understand that tooth brushing is a regular part of their daily routine.
Involving the Child
Involve your child in the tooth brushing process. Let them choose their toothbrush and toothpaste. Show them how to brush their teeth properly and let them try it on their own.
This will help them feel more independent and in control of their own oral and dental health too.
Use a mirror so that your child can see what is happening in their mouth. This will help them understand the importance of brushing all surfaces of their teeth.
Consider using a reward system for successful tooth brushing. For example, give your child a sticker or small toy after each successful brushing session. This will encourage them to continue good oral hygiene habits.
Dealing with Common Challenges
Teething can be a difficult time for both babies and parents. The discomfort can make it difficult for parents to brush their baby’s teeth. To help make the process easier, parents can try the following:
- Use a soft-bristled toothbrush or a damp washcloth to gently clean the teeth and gums.
- Massage the gums with a clean finger or a teething ring to help soothe the discomfort.
- Give the baby a cold, damp washcloth or a chilled teething ring to chew on.
Resistance to Brushing
It’s not uncommon for babies to resist tooth brushing. To make the process easier, parents can try the following:
- Make tooth brushing fun by singing a song or playing a game.
- Let the baby hold the toothbrush and practice brushing on their own.
- Use a flavored toothpaste that the baby likes.
Cavities and Other Dental Issues
Even with proper tooth brushing, babies can still develop cavities and other dental issues. To keep baby’s oral health and help prevent these issues, parents can try the following:
- Avoid giving the baby sugary drinks or snacks.
- Limit the baby’s exposure to juice and milk.
- Take the baby to the dentist for regular check-ups and cleanings.
FAQS on infant tooth brushing
When should you start brushing baby’s gums and teeth?
You should start brushing your baby’s teeth as soon as their first tooth appears, typically around 6 months of age. Using a soft, infant toothbrush and a small amount of fluoride toothpaste, gently clean the tooth (or teeth) twice a day.
There are a range of brush alternatives that can be used before the first tooth emerges, such as silicone finger brushes.
What happens if I don’t brush my baby’s teeth?
If you don’t brush your baby’s teeth, plaque can build up, which can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. Establishing good oral hygiene habits early on will help protect your baby’s teeth and set the foundation for a lifetime of healthy, dental care habits.
How do I brush my 7 month old child’s teeth?
To brush your 7-month-old’s teeth, use a soft-bristled infant toothbrush and a rice-grain-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste.
Gently brush their teeth in small circles, being careful to clean all surfaces of the teeth and along the gum line. Make sure to brush their teeth twice a day, ideally in the morning and before bedtime.
When should babies start brushing with toothpaste?
Babies should begin brushing with toothpaste as soon as their first tooth appears. Use a rice-grain-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste for children under 3 years old. You should also be bringing your child to a pediatric dentist from this early age.
After the age of 3, you can increase the toothpaste amount to a pea-sized dollop. You will need to brush your child’s teeth for them for the first 5 years, but eventually, your child will be able to brush their own teeth.
When should I start cleaning my newborn’s gums?
You can start cleaning your newborn’s gums even before their first tooth appears. Gently wipe their gums with a soft, damp washcloth or a piece of gauze after feedings and before bedtime.
This will help keep their gums clean and establish good oral hygiene habits from an early age.