Those first teeth have popped through and they are SOOO ADORABLE! So let’s keep them looking that way by brushing. When DO you start brushing baby teeth? As soon as there is a tooth you can brush a tooth, but let’s dive into it a little more!
The First Tooth and Brush
It’s pretty easy to brush the first tooth, grab a baby toothbrush, add a little water and give it a gentle scrub. Voila! You can use the toothbrush to rub the gums a bit as well. The sooner you can get baby used to brushing the better. It will make brushing teeth later on so much easier. Make sure you get a good first toothbrush. I don’t mean good as in super expensive, I mean good for baby. You need extra soft bristles, a silicone handle is great too because baby is inevitably going to grab and chew on the brush so it is nicer on their gums if the handle isn’t the HARD plastic (unless your baby is into that, then by all means hard plastic it is!).
Pro Tip: Invest in a vibrating toothbrush. I’m pretty sure it is a magic cure all for teething. I elaborate on it here.
The First Toothpaste
When should you introduce toothpaste? ALWAYS START WITH A FLUORIDE FREE TOOTHPASTE!!! Unless otherwise instructed by your pediatrician or dentist, fluoride should not be used on children under the age of two because of the risk of ingestion (since babies aren’t the best at spitting things out on command). However, introducing infant toothpaste, which tends to be more natural and is fluoride free, is a great stepping stone to full-blown toothpaste. Infant toothpaste can be used starting at 6 months, but personally I would wait until you reach the 12-month mark.
Pro Tip: Some brands offer 100% natural toothpastes. I LOVE this one from Tom’s of Maine, check it out here.
The First Dentist Appointment
Babies got teeth, you’ve been brushing, you have introduced toothpaste, now when do we see a dentist? Dentists recommend making a visit before or near baby’s first birthday… pediatricians recommend seeing the dentist before baby’s third birthday. So here I say make an educated decision about what is right for your babe and family. Once they start seeing the dentist you can expect recommended checkups every 6 months for a cleaning and look over of all the baby teeth coming in. You can of course take your baby to any dentist but there are many pediatric dentists that specialize in baby teeth, but also gentle techniques and keeping children calm during the procedures.
Pro Tip: Many pediatric dentists offer free first visits for babies under a certain age (some baby has to be under one, some under 18 months). This is a great, cost effective way to test out a dentist to see if you and your kiddos are comfortable with the office and dentist and get your first visit done and over with!
Keep Up the Brushing
You’re doing great with your kids dental health but how to you keep it up? Make sure that brushing is part of your routine. Brushing twice a day is best, in the morning and before bed. Making teeth brushing part of the routine will make it a good habit for your children and once again, hopefully make brushing in the future easier. If your babe really doesn’t seem to be into it, try to make it a family affair! Seeing big brother, Mom, Dad, Grandma, etc. all brush their teeth can be a very powerful motivator for baby to get brushing!
So there you have it! Easy peasy. Follow these simple guidelines and baby’s smile will be well on its way to perfect, healthy teeth. Sooner or later your little one will be taking over the duty of brushing and then eventually losing those baby teeth for adult teeth! But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Comment below if you have any great teeth brushing hacks!