Your baby will soon get his pearly whites that will make his smile so much more precious. It is your job to ensure that you protect his teeth right from the beginning in order to avoid any serious dental issues in the future. Establishing a regular dental hygiene routine from an early age will ingrain the habit in your child and keep him and his teeth healthy. This will prevent tooth decay and also prevent any trouble with nutrition and speech development. Here’s all you need to know how and when you should start brushing your baby’s teeth.
When to Start Brushing Your Baby’s Teeth?
It is best to start brushing or cleaning your baby’s teeth the moment his first tooth erupts out of his gums. This may be anything between three to nine months. The age when a baby’s first tooth appears can vary largely with some babies not teething until they are one.
What Will You Need to Brush Your Infant’s Teeth?
You will need a toothbrush and fluoridated toothpaste to brush your baby’s teeth. If your baby is too young you can use a clean damp cloth, your finger or a gauze pad to clean your baby’s teeth. Remember to use them gently to avoid any discomfort to your little one. If you are using a baby toothbrush, ensure that it has soft bristles, a small head and a wide handle. Use only a rice grain size quantity of toothpaste for babies.
How to Brush Your Baby’s Teeth?
The key to making your baby comfortable about your brushing his teeth is to be gentle. Here is the best way to brush baby teeth.
- Sit in a place where there is plenty of light. Keep your baby’s head on your lap.
- Put a tiny amount of toothpaste on your baby’s toothbrush or a gauze pad. Remember, toothpaste as little as a grain of rice is plenty for the baby.
- Gently approach your baby’s mouth and slowly brush each tooth. You will need to brush the front and back of each tooth in gentle circular motions and small strokes that move back and forth. You will need to do this twice every day.
- Clean his tongue with the toothbrush too. This will prevent bacterial accumulation and avoid bad breath.
- Rinse the toothbrush with water and let it dry. You will not need to rinse your baby’s mouth as the amount of toothpaste used is very little.
What to Do If Your Baby Doesn’t Like Brushing Teeth?
Babies have sensitive gums and they may even hurt if they are teething. Hence, it is likely that your baby will resist the whole teeth brushing procedure. If your baby isn’t very keen on getting his teeth cleaned you can try the following tips.
- Be gentle: Your baby’s gums are sensitive. If he particularly doesn’t like the toothbrush, you can always try soft washcloths or gauze pads.
- Distract them: Babies need to focus on one thing. So distracting them with a little song or story can help them get through their teeth brushing time.
- Brush along with your baby: You can make a game out of brushing. Show your baby how you brush your teeth and then ask him to try it and let you do it.
- Satiate his curiosity: Babies love to play with new things. Give your baby enough time to enjoy the setting and the toothbrush. It is possible that he will try to put it in his mouth by himself.
How Many Times in A Day Should You Brush Your Baby’s Teeth?
You can brush your baby’s teeth twice every day to establish a routine. This can be once in the morning and once before he goes to bed.
Can You Brush An Infant’s Gums?
While cleaning your infant’s gums after feeds can help prevent the growth of bacteria, it is best if you do not use a toothbrush for it. Instead, you could use a soft and clean damp cloth. You also get silicone or rubber finger brushes which are even softer on your baby’s sensitive gums. You don’t need toothpaste to clean the gums. You can start cleaning your baby’s gums even before his teeth have emerged.
What If Your Baby’s Teeth Start to Bleed While Brushing?
If you notice bleeding as you brush your baby’s teeth, it might indicate an infection. Check for any others signs like tenderness in the gums and inflammation. It is possible that the condition subsides with regular brushing and dental care. However, if it doesn’t, take your baby to a dentist immediately to seek medical advice.
Is It Necessary to Brush Baby’s Teeth after Every Feed?
No. You will not need to brush your baby’s teeth each time you feed him. Brushing twice a day, after breakfast and before bed is sufficient. However, you may wipe your baby’s gums after feeds to prevent the formation of bacteria.
Can You Brush Infant’s Teeth with Coconut Oil?
It is best to use standard fluoridated toothpaste or any toothpaste recommended by your baby’s dentist to brush your baby’s teeth. According to medical experts, there is no valid evidence that proves that coconut oil is good for the teeth.
Babies can also be prone to cavities and dental caries. Knowing how to clean a baby’s teeth properly can help you prevent any serious dental complications in the future. It is best that you continue assisting your child as he brushes his teeth at least until he is six or seven years old to ensure that he is doing it the right way. This is because if the milk teeth face cavities and decay or the gum is affected by an infection, it could affect the permanent teeth later on. Brushing your baby’s teeth right from the beginning can prevent these problems.