How Do You Brush Babies First Teeth
Baby toothbrushes are something you probably want to consider getting hold of even before that first tooth pokes through which can happen any time from a few months old and may easily occur before they start eating solid foods.
There are lots of options available from tooth and gum wipes to finger brushes, silicone brushes and soft-bristled brushes with small heads designed especially for tiny mouths.
Once you have chosen your brush and toothpaste the next thing you need to know is how exactly to go about brushing your babies teeth, especially as they are generally not very good at quietly sitting there with their mouths wide open while you brush.
How to Brush a Babies Teeth
The first thing to note is you really can’t start too early. You can be cleaning babies gums from a few days after birth and this will certainly help get them used to the sensations of having you putting something in their mouth. You don’t need to use toothpaste or even a toothbrush before they have teeth. A cotton cloth or a finger brush can work well.
Once the first tooth comes through though you do want to start brushing to protect the enamel of the teeth and to develop a good habit for later life.
The easiest way to brush a baby or child’s teeth is to position yourself behind them and tilt their head back. Either by sitting them on your lap if they are little and resting their head against your chest, or standing behind them when they are bigger so they can lean back against you. You then want to move the brush in small circular motions making sure you get all surfaces of the teeth.
Brushing a baby or toddlers teeth isn’t always easy but it’s important to persevere as even tiny teeth can suffer decay if they are not looked after. You could try taking it in turns to brush, letting them brush a doll’s teeth, a fun toothbrushing video or song, and demonstrate by brushing your own teeth.
It’s worth remembering that babies' gums and mouths can be sore when they are teething so having a silicone bush that you can put in the freezer to cool down might help. And letting children choose their favourite flavour of toothpaste can also encourage them to brush.
And while the ideal time to brush teeth might be just before bed kids do tend to be more tired then, so if you are struggling with getting them to brush why not try at another time of the day when they have more energy to get them used to the idea.
Once babies have teeth you should be using toothpaste but you only want to use a tiny smear, no more than a grain of rice in size, until they are around 3 years old. It’s also important to encourage them to spit after brushing rather than swallowing the toothpaste.
Next Up: When Should a Baby Start Using a Tooth Brush