When and how to start brushing your baby’s teeth and gums can be a bit confusing, especially if there aren’t any teeth yet! However, as oral hygiene is an important routine to maintain throughout one’s life, the earlier you teach your child good habits the better. Read on for our definitive guide on when and how to brush your baby and toddler’s teeth for a lifetime of healthy and happy teeth and gums!
When to Start
Brushing itself doesn’t need to start in earnest until actual teeth start cutting through, however your baby’s gums need some care and attention even before! Starting as soon as they’re born, use a damp washcloth, muslin, or even your finger, to gently rub along your baby’s gums after feeding to help wash away any bacteria buildup. Brushing should begin as soon as teeth start showing: start off gently with a silicone finger brush for infant teeth that are just starting to show, and then graduate to a bristled children’s toothbrush!
Just because your child has enough teeth to brush, doesn’t mean that they have the motor skills to do it themselves! The short, sharp movements of brushing are quite precise, especially when you take the necessary pressure needed into consideration - you don’t want your child to aggressively brush off their enamel, but you do want the brushing to be effectively cleaning their teeth and gums. When your child first starts using a toothbrush, try to alternate who is doing the brushing: start off doing it for them, and once they’ve understood, give them the lead. Continue to go back and forth so that you can model the pressure and movement, and to help make adjustments to make sure they’re getting it right!
How to Make it Fun
Brushing teeth is a habit you want your child to get into for life, so you’re best off starting them off positively! Fostering good associations with tooth brushing can encourage your child to embrace it, rather than trying to get out of doing it or rushing through. Try using music, either by putting on your child’s favourite two-minute song to help them get used to the length of time they should be brushing, or if you are creatively inclined you can even make up a toothbrushing song together!
What Toothbrush is Best
Toothbrushes designed for children tend to have smaller heads with softer bristles, to ensure a deep clean in harder to reach areas while keeping sensitive new teeth safe from zealous brushing. Our training toothbrush not only has easy-grip handles on either side to help encourage the development of fine motor skills, but also has anti-microbial coating and a suction cup base to ensure the toothbrush stays upright and hygienic for the next brushing session. The fun giraffe shape encourages your child to personalise their brush so all your needs both fun and functional are covered!