Toddlers And Brushing – When To Start

After watching your baby for several weeks drooling and fussing, finally, you can spot that first tooth popping out. Your baby’s gummy smile, over the next few years, will be swapped with rows of baby teeth. Although they are tiny and eventually fall off, nonetheless they are important. For adult teeth, they are the acting placeholders. Speaking, chewing and other activities will be hampered if your child doesn’t have a healthy set of teeth. Which is why caring for them and keeping them free from decay is vital.

Caring for Baby’s Gums

Caring for your baby’s gum will start almost instantly. For this, you don’t need a brush and paste; instead, make use of the following steps:

  • Use a soft moist cloth or gauze
  • Wipe down on the gums gently twice a day
  • After feeding and before bedtime are two times its essential to wipe and clean the gums

This technique will help wash away the bacteria and stop them from lingering on the gums. Typically, bacteria doesn’t harm the gums, but say if teeth are starting to push through, you’ll never know what is actually taking place inside the mouth. Starting early is the best chance to avoid any uninvited happenstances. Moreover, this gets your child used to having the mouth cleaned and it becomes a habit and this can be a stepping stone for graduating to brushing teeth.

When to begin brushing the baby’s teeth

As soon as the first tooth emerges, you can begin the brushing process. If you followed the previous technique then by now the child will be somewhat used to someone invading their mouths.

When the child is about 6 months old, the bottom front ones will be one of the first teeth they develop. But this varies from child to child and there isn’t a fixed time as such. Sooner or later, your toddler will have 20 milk teeth or baby teeth which will all sprout by the time they are about 3-years old.

Brushing baby’s teeth

Make sure you use a soft brush with soft bristles and a small head and long handle so that it’s easy to hold.

When the teeth erupt at about the age of 3, you can use the brush with a pea size amount of toothpaste. Gently brush all around the teeth both front and back and cover other areas like the tongue, cheeks, gums etc. as well.

It’s best that you brush the child’s teeth until he/she is comfortable with brushing by themselves, usually this happens at around the age of 7-8.

While you assist the child brush, keep a lookout for signs of decay like brown spots or pits in the teeth. Whether there is a problem or not, the first visit to the dentist for your child should be around the age of 1.

How much toothpaste should I use?

You just need a film of paste, enough to cover three-quarters of the brush. Make sure your child spits the paste after brushing and rinses their mouth. This will take a while for the child to get used to. Also, eating toothpaste is not advised. Buy a paste which doesn’t have a fruity or sweet taste as the child needs to associate paste with a good habit and not something that is meant to be eaten.

Few things to keep in mind in order for the child to have healthy teeth are:

  • Brush in the morning and at night
  • Use a baby brush
  • Use a pea size amount of tooth paste preferable one that contains fluoride (consult with the dentist)
  • Brush gently, all over the mouth like tongue, cheeks, under the tongue the upper portions, gums etc.
  • Once wear and tear appears, replace the brush

Here are few things to keep in mind with your toddler and their teeth; it’s just a matter of getting used to. Over time, they will form a good habit which will last a lifetime!

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Photo Credit: http://beffadental.com
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Breath · Dental · kids · Teeth · toothbrush

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