My baby has no teeth yet, why should I even be thinking about toothbrushing? Well, in short, it’s never too early to introduce a daily oral hygiene routine to your child.
If anything, the sooner your little one gets used to having their teeth, or in this case, gums, brushed or wiped the better!
From breast milk to formula, pureed foods or baby-led weaning, your baby’s mouth is full of bacteria-building sugars from the start.
Helping to keep their mouths fresh and clean will encourage good habits later on in life. Plus, you are laying the foundations to fight off tooth decay in the long run.
So, how does toothpaste fit into your baby’s life?
Let’s take a look:
Although you might not feel comfortable using toothpaste with your baby when you can’t even see any teeth, there are some measures you can take before their first tooth appears.
Remember that after a feed, there’s a multitude of sugary milk leftovers coating your little one’s gums and tongue.
Using a clean, soft damp cloth or a handy DentalWipe to clean your little one’s gums gently, will remove all traces of debris and bacteria, fostering a healthy, clean environment for your baby’s teeth to grow, and as a bonus,offer soothing relief from any teething related inflammation.
As soon as the first tooth makes an appearance, you can introduce your little one to their first toothbrush. With soft, medical-grade silicone-based bristles to massage gums and clean teeth, you can add a small smear of toothpaste to introduce taste and texture. Often mildly flavoured, baby toothpaste will help to strengthen your child’s tooth enamel from day one.
Respite from teething
Many parents dread the thought of teething with its associated sleepless nights to uncontrollable crying, your baby is battling something we can’t even begin to imagine.
The only thing we as parents have to compare it to is the pain that comes from a wisdom tooth. Times that by twenty, and you can begin to scratch the surface of what your baby may be experiencing.
Camomile-based toothpastes can help soothe sore gums and tender teeth. When applied to a toothbrush, your baby can get relief from the surface of the brush, as well as the massaging effects of the bristles against their gums. As Camomile is a natural inflammatory agent, it’s a gentle way of targeting and soothing any discomfort.
How do I brush my baby’s teeth?
Unlike a DentalWipe or damp cloth, the physical act of toothbrushing is more involved. I found the best way to brush my little one’s teeth was to hold her close to me on my lap, so she had the comfort of my arms and the proximity of my body.
Making sure to brush each tooth in a circular motion - as they appeared - she became more confident, trusting and relaxed having her teeth brushed.
Since day one, I have always encouraged her to hold her own toothbrush too. This has helped her learn the movements and she’s developed a good brushing technique she still uses today.
Eventually, after repeatedly brushing her teeth twice a day, a routine was formed.
Up until my little girl was three years old, I only ever used a tiny dab of toothpaste. Now she’s four, I add a pea-sized amount to her brush.
Surprise! Not all children like having their teeth brushed
Patience is one of the golden rules of parenting. Without it, my child would be running around feral as I tried to make sense of everything in her wake! Sticking by routines is not always easy, especially when your baby, toddler or child develops a personality or attitude.
So, rather than fight it, use it and play to your child’s strengths.
Not everyone likes the flavour of toothpaste. Whether it be too minty, too flavoured, or not flavoured enough, your little ones is sure to have a preference.
They may take a little while to adjust to the flavour sensations on offer, especially when all they have ever tasted is milk.
Be patient. Trial and error will help you, and then figure out what works the best.
Are you ready to introduce your baby to toothpaste?
Get ready to experience a toothpaste flavour sensation and find out what your tot likes!