Monday, April 8, 2013

Teaching your baby or toddler to brush their teeth

My daughter got her first tooth when she was almost seven months old.  The week that her first tooth came out, I began letting her brush her teeth.  Now you may be reading this and wondering how a six month old baby can brush her own teeth.  I am here to tell you that it is really quite easy.  You just need to have the right tooth brush.  I picked up a brush baby toothbrush at a local baby store.  Made with medical grade silicone and BPA-free, the brush baby toothbrush is designed for a teething baby.  All they need to do is chew on it--like they would with anything to help them with teething--and it's tiny bristles (which are found on both sides of this baby toothbrush) will help to massage the gums while also helping to get rid of food around the tooth/teeth. 

Silicone Brush Baby toothbrush
My daughter brushing her teeth for the first time at 7 months old.

If your child doesn't have any teeth yet, make sure to wipe their gums and tongue regularly in order to get rid of excess milk and food in order to keep their little mouth clean and fresh.

As for toothpaste, I did/do not want my daughter to use tooth paste with fluoride in it, due to the health risks that ingesting fluoride causes.  So I went to my local health food store and purchased fluoride-free toothpaste.  It's made by a company called Tom's of Maine.  Their naturally based products are for oral care and deoderants.  What I also like about this toothpaste is that all of the ingredients are natural, so I do not feel bad that my daughter ingests it.  She's too small to know how to rinse her mouth, so I just let her swallow her toothpaste-filled spit.  Some people may find that gross, but I find it more realistic and nicer to not try to force my baby to rinse her mouth out and then end up hating the whole process of brushing her teeth.  I want it to be an enjoyable experience that she looks forward to.

Every morning my daughter and I brush our teeth together.  I made this cheesy little song up and I sing it to her just before we brush our teeth.  I sing, "Brush your teeth.  Brush, brush, brush." and repeat it  a few times while I am putting toothpaste on our toothbrushes.  That way, my daughter knows exactly what we are going to do and she gets excited to do it. 

I then sit on the floor with her and we brush our teeth together.  The reason why I sit on the bathroom floor is so that I am at her level so that she can see exactly what I'm doing.  She loves it and watches me and what I am doing.  Then after I have rinsed my mouth, I then ask her to give me her toothbrush.  Most of the time she doesn't want to give it up because she likes it so much and that makes me happy that my daughter enjoys brushing her teeth.  Let's hope that potty training will be just as enjoyable and easy when the time comes.

My 15 month daughter brushing her teeth with the baby brush toothbrush.

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