When Should I Start Brushing My Baby's Teeth
Brushing your babies teeth is just one of many things you will have to get your head around as a parent. And you might be surprised how early on in their lives you start thinking about this.
Even before your baby has teeth you can brush or wipe their gums and tongue to get rid of bacteria and get them used to having their mouths cleaned. Before babies have teeth you don’t need to use a toothbrush and toothpaste so how do you clean their mouths?
How do you Clean a Baby’s Mouth?
There are two great options for cleaning your baby's mouth, their gums and tongue before they have teeth when you don’t need to use a toothbrush and toothpaste. The first one is a cotton cloth, a muslin or a washcloth are wrapped around your finger and dipped in water so that it’s damp. The second is a silicone finger brush which again is used with water rather than toothpaste before your baby has teeth.
Making this a regular habit not only cleans any bacteria from the mouth but it also gets your baby used to the routine of having their mouths cleaned so they are ready when it comes time to start toothbrushing for real.
The easiest way to clean babies' mouths and later their teeth is to sit or lay them on your lap with their head cradled in your hand if they are tiny or resting against you as they get a bit bigger. This way you can support their head and see in their mouths at the same time. Plus it’s a good way to hold them if they’re not that keen.
Be aware that if their teeth are beginning to start coming through they may have pain or discomfort in their mouths so you need to be very gentle. Using a silicone brush that has been in the freezer or even putting a muslin or washcloth in the freezer can be nice for them when they are teething.
We love the Jack N Jill Silicone finger brushes for this age or the tooth and gum wipes which can be really handy for all ages and are a great way to clean mouths when you are out and about.
To clean the gums and tongue use gentle circular motions with your finger.
When to Transition to a Toothbrush?
You can transition to using a toothbrush and toothpaste as soon as the first tooth appears and adopt the same brushing position brushing in gentle circular motions.
To begin with you may wish to continue using a silicone brush or you can move to a traditional toothbrush. Make sure you choose one that is designed for babies that has extra soft bristles and a small head.