When you bring your little one home after the entire process of pregnancy, labor, and delivery, your life changes. As a first-time parent, there are a lot of questions on your mind that need to be answered. Some of the most common questions revolve around the baby’s skincare and feeding routine. However, there is one thing that is often overlooked by many. We are talking about oral hygiene. However, if you happen to be one of the few parents who wonder when should I start brushing my baby’s teeth, you are already moving in the right direction.
To begin with, babies are not born with teeth. This means you need not worry about brushing their teeth and adding toothpaste to the newborn essentials checklist right from the beginning. However, it is okay to introduce your child to good oral habits from a young age. For the first six months or so, you can stick to cleaning your baby’s gums. And the process is easy too. Every time you feed the baby, take a baby gum brush and gently rub your baby’s gums with your index finger. One of the benefits of this is that it will teach your baby to get used to the feeling of a clean mouth.
When do you Start Brushing Baby’s Teeth?
As we mentioned earlier, your baby will cut his or her first tooth around the time they are six months old. And once that happens, you can switch to brushing your baby’s teeth with a baby toothbrush with gentle bristles. These toothbrushes are designed for babies and toddlers. However, make it a point to clean your baby’s gums even after they start cutting teeth. This will protect your baby’s mouth from the exposure of placing things in their mouth. Make sure you clean your baby’s mouth and teeth well.
Tips for Brushing Baby Teeth
- Make sure that the toothbrush is of the right size.
- Fluoride-free toothpaste is best for kids in the initial stages. For children younger than 3 years of age, a rice-sized amount of toothpaste is enough.
- To avoid the problem of children swallowing the toothpaste, smear it all around the teeth before you start brushing.
- Since it is difficult for infants to remain steady, it is always better to opt for two-adult technique while brushing their teeth to avoid mishaps.
- Make it a point to brush your baby’s teeth for 2 whole minutes.
- Make sure you brush their teeth in the morning as well as before going to bed at night.
Things to Consider while Buying a Toothbrush for Babies
- The Size
While adult toothbrushes are often available in a standard size, the same cannot be said about baby toothbrushes. Since your baby’s mouth is smaller, it needs a toothbrush that fits right.
- The Brush should be Age-Appropriate
You should make it a point to opt for a toothbrush with gentle bristles for your baby. This will ensure that their gums don’t hurt after your brush their teeth twice a day. Also, soft bristles are especially important for babies who are still teething since their gums are sensitive.
- Electric or Manual
Always opt for a manual brush until your little one reaches a certain age.
- Knowing when to get a New Toothbrush
Get a new brush if the bristles are too worn out, your baby has outgrown the toothbrush. Also, a new toothbrush is in order if your baby has recovered from a sickness.
The things you teach your child from a very young age will set the tone for how they approach things when they grow older. Make it a point to keep your baby’s oral hygiene at the top of your to-do list.