Your baby’s first teeth are cause for celebration! With every early memory comes some responsibility, a baby’s teeth need constant care. It’s important to brush your baby’s teeth the right way – more than 45% of U.S. children aged 2-11 have cavities. What’s more, the typical child has 1-2 decaying teeth. But with some practical application with your baby’s teeth, those numbers can get better!
To properly brush your baby’s teeth, we recommend you:
- Clean gums before teeth appear. This helps keep your baby’s gums clean by wiping away bacteria and other germs. Use a clean, damp washcloth and gently wipe your baby’s gums after feedings and before bedtime. Start this care regimen at the age of 3 months.
Eventually, the first teeth will appear. The first thing you should do is…
- Get the right toothbrush. Go with a wide handle – perfect for little hands – and shorter profile. This will help avoid pushing the toothbrush too far back in the mouth. Also, make sure the bristles are extra soft.
- Hold your baby comfortably. Cradle your baby in one arm, so you can brush with the other.
- Apply small dab of fluoride toothpaste and water to toothbrush. Remember, your baby’s mouth is super-sensitive. Use lukewarm water to lessen the “shock” of this new experience.
- Use gentle circular motions to clean teeth and gums. Whether your baby has one or five new teeth, they all need cleaning. But don’t forget the gums – that’s where new teeth may be coming in any day!
- After you’re done, hand the toothbrush to your baby. Let your baby explore. See if your baby starts to pick up on your example. After a few weeks, your baby will be eager to “go it alone” – but not yet! We don’t recommend solo brushing until around two years of age.
That’s it – stick to this tooth care plan, and your baby will have the brightest smile of the bunch!