Do you clean your baby’s teeth?
Many parents, especially first-time parents, don’t see the point in cleaning teeth that are just going to fall out anyway.
But your little one’s oral health is incredibly important. Not only for their teeth, but for their overall health as well.
Want to learn more?
We put together and in-depth guide to cleaning your child’s teeth, preventing cavities, and improving their overall oral health.
Check out our guide below!
Why Should I Brush My Baby’s Teeth?
Most moms think that cleaning their baby’s teeth is pointless. After all, they’re just going to fall out and new permanent ones will grow in, right?
However, baby teeth are much more important than you’d think. Your child’s first set of teeth create the space and shape for new teeth to come in. Your baby’s first teeth also help them learn how to chew and speak.
Should you not properly care for your child’s baby teeth, they can decay just as easily as permanent teeth. Gum infections are also a possibility as well and could lead to misshapen, poorly-spaced permanent teeth in the future that could require braces.
Are you a little lost on how to properly clean your baby’s teeth?
Check out our in-depth guide on how to do it right.
How To Properly Brush Your Baby’s Teeth
Cleaning your child’s teeth should be done properly every time, but most moms don’t have a clue where to start with their baby’s delicate teeth.
Be Mindful Of Their Formula
It’s crucial to be informed of the health risks and ingredients of any particular type of formula. Not just for your baby’s teeth, but for their overall health.
Opting for an organic goat milk formula is a fantastic first step to preventing tooth and mouth problems in your little one. Just be sure you do your research on the best brand for your baby.
Start Cleaning Your Baby’s Teeth Before They Come In
Keeping your baby’s mouth clean is important, even before their little chompers start to come in.
After every feeding, whether it’s breastmilk or formula, gently wipe down your baby’s gums with a warm damp cloth or a piece of sterile gauze.
When The Teeth Come In, Act Quickly
Once you notice your child’s teeth are starting to come in, it’s important to keep them clean immediately.
Teething may be a nightmare for some parents and your baby may want to use your finger as a teething ring, but it’s still important to wipe their gums and budding teeth down to prevent any bacterial infection from starting.
Deal With Teething Properly To Help Those Chompers Grow
On average, it can take around twenty-four months for a child’s teeth to make it all the way through the gums. The process of teething is often uncomfortable or painful for babies and the subsequent crying can be stressful for parents.
Sometimes it can take weeks for one baby tooth to come in, leaving your baby a crying mess for that duration. Symptoms of teething often include crying more frequently, drooling, and swollen gums. Luckily, you can make the process a little less terrible for them by helping them cope.
Teething rings are a great way to help your baby deal with the pain of teething and it can also help facilitate tooth breakthrough. A teething ring should be clean, cold to the touch (but not frozen), and big enough that your baby can go to town on it without the possibility of choking.
Always avoid teething rings or toys for chewing that have liquid inside.
Another way to help ease your baby’s pain and get those teeth to pop out is to give your little one regular gum massages. This may not be the most comfortable thing on your end, but gently massaging your little one’s gums with a clean index finger can help them get some relief and stimulate those teeth to come through.
Cavities? No Way!
Your baby’s teeth can absolutely get cavities the same way that permanent teeth do. The early signs of tooth decay in children’s teeth are brownish or yellowish coloring as well as pitting.
To prevent cavities, stop leaving your baby with their bottle for an extended amount of time. If your baby has stopped feeding, take the bottle away.
Babies like to chew on their bottles after feeding for comfort, but that’s a surefire way to dig more formula into their gums and teeth. As always, wipe down their mouths after every feeding.
Some parents like to put sweet things like honey on their baby’s pacifier to encourage them to use it. This is not good for baby’s teeth and should be avoided.
In that same vein, you should only ever fill your baby’s bottle with water, formula, or breast milk.
Do not give your baby juice, soda, or anything loaded with sugars or high fructose corn syrup at an early age if you want your baby’s teeth (and body) to be healthy.
Bacteria loves to flock to baby bottles with sugary residue, and it produces acid that can seriously harm your little one’s teeth.
Supplement With Water After Eating
Baby food, formula, and breast milk can easily be washed away from baby’s teeth with a simple drink of water after a feeding.
Once your baby starts eating baby food and has a lot of teeth, you can start using a baby toothbrush (or a toothbrush with extremely plush bristles) to start cleaning your baby’s teeth. This helps your baby get used to having a toothbrush in their mouth at an early age and will help facilitate learning how to brush their own teeth in a few years.
If your little one has eaten anything sticky or full of sugar, it’s important to brush their teeth right after with a little bit of soda water to prevent tooth decay.
As a general rule, babies should not consume water until they are around six months old.
Go To The Dentist
Once your child’s teeth have come in, it’s time to take them on their first trip to the dentist.
Your dentist can give you the rundown on things like fluoride, tooth care, products, and any other questions you may have about your baby’s oral care.
Brush Those Babies Properly
Brushing your child’s teeth is a particular process.
When their teeth start coming in, use a toothbrush soft, small-headed toothbrush with a long handle. Baby toothbrushes are easy to find at most baby stores.
Nobody likes having a bristled plastic object shoved in their mouth against their will, and your baby has never experienced a toothbrush before. In most cases, babies will be fussy about brushing for the first time.
You can make the process of brushing for the first time less strange for your little one by singing or doing something else to distract your child while brushing. This can also help them associate brushing time with something positive and not so weird.
It can also be helpful to let your baby chew on the toothbrush (under supervision, of course) to help demystify it and satiate their curiosity.
When you first upgrade from the finger to the toothbrush, just use water. Once the teeth really start coming in, use a teeny tiny bit of fluoride toothpaste or baby-specific toothpaste.
The amount of toothpaste you use should increase gradually, as too much can harm your baby’s super-sensitive teeth. By the time they are around three years of age, that amount of toothpaste shouldn’t be bigger than a chickpea.
Brush very gently around your baby’s teeth, and be sure to get the front and back of each tooth.
Brush your child’s teeth until they are old enough to use the toothbrush on their own, which varies. Most children can start using their toothbrush at around four or five.
Supervise Your Children As They Learn To Brush Their Teeth On Their Own
It always helps to show your child how to brush by example. Once your little one is old enough to hold a toothbrush by themselves, make an event out of it.
Each morning and night, make “group tooth brushing” a ritual between you, your partner, and your child. To help your child get used to tooth-brushing, make a game out of it.
Watching how it’s done from adults will help your child learn how to brush their teeth in a more fluid and natural way. Let your little one get the hang of it at their own pace — they’ll figure it out eventually, we promise.
Just because your child can hold a toothbrush doesn’t mean they aren’t at risk for swallowing toothpaste or choking on water.
Be sure to supervise your little one as they learn to brush, rinse, and spit after brushing their teeth until they no longer need help. In most cases, a child between six and seven years can brush their teeth without help.
How was our guide to properly brushing your baby’s teeth?