The first baby teeth to erupt in your child’s mouth are the lower front two teeth, which will erupt around 6-10 months old. As soon as your child has a tooth, it is essential to use a toothbrush to keep it free of bacteria. Before teeth erupt, you can use a damp cloth or gauze to wipe your baby’s mouth after they’ve had milk and before bed. Brushing your child’s teeth may be difficult at first, but gets easier with time.
Brushing your Baby’s Teeth
It is essential to get into the habit of cleaning your baby’s mouth as soon as possible to get them used to the experience. Some babies will be comfortable with this experience from the beginning, and some will cry and put up a fight. If your baby is upset while having their mouth cleaned, try laying them on the bathroom floor after bath time, with their head in your lap, and use one hand with the toothbrush and the other hand to hold their hands away from their mouth. Try the best you can to access all teeth with the toothbrush. As the child gets older, this experience will be more natural. Begin using a fluoridated toothpaste around the age of 3 with only a grain of rice size amount on the toothbrush head. Fluoridated toothpaste helps to prevent cavities. Flossing is also an essential part of the regimen as soon as any teeth contact each other. Usually, the first teeth to touch will be in the back, and these are the most susceptible teeth to in-between cavities.
Checking your Child’s Brushing
It is recommended to help your child brush/ check their brushing until the age of 8. Below eight years old, their hand dexterity and understanding of the importance of brushing might be lacking and if left unchecked, might lead to gum issues and cavities.
Tools to Help your Child Brush
There are many aids to help your child brush adequately and for the full 2 minutes. Some toothbrushes play a song for 2 minutes, so your child knows to continue brushing until the song is over. Some toothbrushes will give a beep at the end of the 2 minutes. Another option is a sand timer that your child flips as soon as they start brushing, and can stop once all the sand has gone through. It is crucial that your child feels comfortable with the toothbrush they are using and the flavour of the toothpaste so that they enjoy brush time.