Baby Teeth and Gum Care
Oral hygiene, starting at a young age, is so important. Getting your baby into a habit of cleaning their teeth at a young age, only makes them grow up with good oral hygiene instilled in them.
Cleaning Baby Teeth
Your baby's oral hygiene actually needs to be kept up, BEFORE their first tooth pops through! Wiping their gums with a damp washcloth or teeth tissues is enough.
You can continue to use a damp washcloth or teeth tissues when their first teeth come in. Your little one will probably even find some relief, from teething, with you rubbing their gums.
The teeth tissues are extremely handy during the times when your baby is feeding a lot (cluster feeding). My favorite are Spiffies. They contain xylitol, which is a sugar found in nature. Unlike other sugars, xylitol is a sugar that the bacteria have a hard time with. To put it shortly, bacteria in your mouth starve to death if you use xylitol. Which, in turn, reduces the chance of cavities. Yayyyy!
A finger toothrush is another great way to keep you baby's pearly whites nice and clean. Along with a great way to massage those sore gums! Training toothpaste may also be used to make the experience more enjoyable and tasty for your little one. My little one actually enjoys gnawing on her finger toothbrush throughout the day. Love this pack, as it comes with several toothbrushes, not just one or two!
You can also use a toothbrush designed for infants. Although, make sure it is a toothbrush with a small head and soft bristles. We love this one, as it is BPA free, has a short neck (for no gagging), teething handle, and different colored bristles to show how much fluoride toothpaste should be used.
This Nuby 4 Stage Oral Care Set is also great! It comes with a finger massager, a soft gum massager, a massaging brush, and a nylon brush. All of these brushes are great for all the different stages your child is/will be experiencing when their teeth begin to poke through.
The American Dentist Association recommends brushing with a “smear” (or a small grain of rice) of fluoridated toothpaste with children 3 years of age and younger. Yes, you heard that right, fluoridated toothpaste.
These flossers are coated in flouride, which is great for teeth. Your kids will also love these, as they are colorful and flavored!
I know mama, it is probably a constant battle, as it is for most of us, to get our little one to brush their teeth. Tears are usually involved. The toothbrush, toothpaste, child, or yourself ends up on the floor. And a small percentage of the teeth actually get brushed.
You may have tried time-out, consequences, bribing, etc. just to get them to brush their teeth. And still nothing seems to work. Because as to them, it is the equivalent to you ripping their teeth out one-by-one, walking over broken glass, etc. etc.
You do not need extreme amounts of force to remove the soft plaque on your babies teeth. If you brush too hard, it may be uncomfortable and painful for your little one. Which will in turn lead them to be reluctant to brush their teeth.
This training toothpaste tastes good, so your little one will pretty much think of it as a treat.
Make It Fun
Make brushing teeth fun by getting excited. Kids tend to feed off the energy of everyone else. So if you are mad and frustrated, chances are they are going to mad and frustrated. Instead get happy and excited. Sing a song, do a dance, anything to make the experience more fun! Here are all sorts of fun toothbrushing songs to sing.
Play games. Count how many teeth are getting brushed. With my niece, I always told her we were getting rid of cavity bugs. And she of course, didn't want any bugs in her mouth, so she would open as wide as she could for me to search her mouth for more bugs. Making it much easier to reach all of her teeth.
Or use their favorite animals or characters. Tinkerbell or Spiderman just flew into their mouth and you need to get them out with the toothbrush. Go on an animal hunt. Find all those alligators, snakes, and lions. Whatever it takes mama! Chances are the sillier you are and the more fun you have, they will be more willing to let you brush their teeth.
There you have it mom/dad! Make sure to make it a daily habit to practice good oral hygiene to set your little one up for success. Starting a good oral hygiene routine at a young age will only help them to have a good oral hygiene routine when they are older.
It is also a great idea to get your little one in for their first dental visit by their first birthday or 6 months after they get their first tooth.
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