Squeals of delight are often heard when your baby’s first tooth appears. It’s another of those ‘firsts’ in their new lifetime and sometimes this ‘first milestone’ may come at the price of sleepless nights and pain.
Then, there comes the uncertainty. When do I introduce my baby to a toothbrush? Is it too soon, should I wait? Am I too late?
Parenting is undeniably one of the most challenging stages of life to navigate. Knowing when to brush your baby’s teeth is one of life’s many questions. Fear not, we’re about to tackle this together!
Oral care from day one
Although addressing your baby’s oral care needs may be a step too far when they are fresh out of the womb, it really is worth thinking about during these formative months. As you begin to adjust to life with a newborn, routines will suddenly come into place as life enters a new stage of ‘normal’.
Other than air itself, you will quickly learn that milk is a dominant feature of your baby’s life. Whether you are breastfeeding or giving your tot formula milk, both are full to the brim with sugars. While giving your baby all the nutrients they need, leftover milk sitting on your little one’s gums is the perfect breeding ground for bacteria to grow.
Keeping your little one’s gums free of decay-building bacteria can be placed into a simple daily routine. With a clean, soft damp cloth/muslin you can gently wipe leftover milky deposits away from the gums.
For a more well-rounded clean, baby DentalWipes are specially formulated to tackle germs and bacteria, while gently cleansing your little one’s gums. Infused with soothing Camomile, baby DentalWipes can also target teething pain, comforting sore or inflamed gums.
Establishing good roots
Many of us assume that baby teeth are less important than adult teeth. I mean, they all fall out, right? So, why are baby teeth so important?
Baby teeth are the foundations for your adult teeth. Getting toothbrushing right from when your child is an infant will strengthen their teeth and help to avoid dental decay.. So good oral hygiene techniques must be established early on to prevent tooth decay and other painful problems down the road.
As soon as your baby’s first tooth appears, you can introduce them to a toothbrush. Yes, even if there’s only one tooth – start as you mean to go on! Make sure you go for a small, soft-bristled round-headed brush to fit comfortably in your child’s mouth. Gentle and delicate on the gums, you can remove all the nasty bacteria whilst familiarising your little one with the act of toothbrushing..
How do I brush my baby’s teeth?
An age-old question that has seen many interpretations over the years - brushing your baby’s teeth is undoubtedly more straightforward these days. Getting your little one able to feel comfortable during the experience is probably the most challenging part of the process.
As soon as your child is able, let them get a ‘feel’ for their toothbrush. Let them chomp on it, feel its the texture and generally get to know it! With my little girl, I used to let her have her toothbrush in the bath, so that she could connect the two activities together before bedtime.
If you want to keep your baby a bit closer and feel more in control,, sit them on your lap so they can see you and brush each of their teeth in a circular motion. At this stage you don’t have to add toothpaste, it’s more about the sensation.
You may notice early on, that your baby is your biggest fan. They watch everything you do, listen to every word you say, and laugh at you when you’re not even being funny. So show them how you brush your teeth - let them see your movements, how you add the toothpaste and swill your mouth. Learning starts in the home after all.
When can I start using toothpaste?
Most baby toothpastes can be used between the ages of newborn to 2 years, before the toddler stage.
Whatever you do, don’t overthink it. My little girl has famously loved fruity-flavoured toothpastes from a couple of months old to the grand age of four!
We haven’t avoided fluoride, but we have been careful to stick to low fluoride dose toothpastes. For those that want to stay clear completely, there are plenty of fluoride-free options available.
Ready to take the leap?
Helping your baby get used to a toothbrush from a young age is all part of their dental hygiene journey.