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Brushing Baby’s Emerging Teeth
After your baby sprouts new teeth and when the excitement settles down, the first concern of parents is to take care of the baby’s teeth and maintaining so that they won’t face any dental problem in their early childhood. Knowing the proper way of brushing will help you maintain baby’s teeth healthy.
Brushing First Tooth
1. Brush OR Wipes?
When your baby’s first tooth start to pop up, to clean baby’s growing first tooth, you should use the tooth wipes specially made for baby’s teeth. You can also use soft, cotton, clean, wet cloth or the finger toothbrush.
2. How to brush?
Rub the teeth gently like you polish them.
3. How many times a day?
Usually first tooth appear when baby’s is still having breast milk few times a day. So it is very necessary you clean baby’s tooth after every time you feed breast milk or solids. Keep the wet wipes handy at a hygienic place.
Once your baby has grown 4-6 teeth till the age of 1.5-2 yrs. you can start brushing your baby’s teeth with toothbrush. Still for the molar teeth which are just popping out, you should use tooth wipes.
Comfortable Position to hold Baby to Brush her Teeth
The easiest method of brushing your baby’s teeth is by making her sit on your lap and head bended on your elbow in your arms.
How to select a baby brush? Use a small headed toothbrush that contains nylon and soft bristles that will be suitable for your child. ( These days the makers name it Sensitive Toothbrush)
Right way of brushing: At start she would only chew the brush and play with it, so do keep a watch on her and gently take it back from her mouth and make her brush a little more.
Try and make it a play full time for your child, exactly as you do while you feed her food. Encourage your child to brush her teeth rather than forcing her. Make her convince to learn brushing and give a lot of encouragement and praise her when she brushes her teeth or lets you to do the same.
How much Toothpaste to be used?
Apply a thin film of toothpaste that would only cover the three quarter of tooth brush. Do remember to use a separate toothpaste for your baby which would contain only 1000 parts per million [PPM] of fluoride in it. Large amount of toothpaste or fluoride can cause Fluorosis on your baby’s teeth. So make your baby learn to spit out the extra or the leftover paste from her mouth. It is not important to rinse the mouth with water, some leftover toothpaste works better for her teeth after brushing.
Be aware, your baby might lick or eat the toothpaste from the tube. Don’t allow her to do so, swallowing fluoride in large amounts can give them mottled effect, damage your baby’s teeth or can even cause diarrhea and make her sick. So avoid bringing toothpaste with fruity or tasty flavor.
Thoroughly brush your child’s teeth and cover all the surfaces like inner side of teeth, outer side of teeth and tongue. Till the age of 3-4yrs you would have to brush your child’s teeth but she can probably learn earlier than that and do it on her own.
What if Baby hates brushing?
If she doesn’t like to be brushed while sitting on your lap then you can try the other method. Try to kneel or sit behind your child on the floor and ask your child to lie down on your lap. With this method you can reach to her teeth more easily and comfortably.
If both the methods dont works, remember that children copy the things very fast. So make it possible that your child watches you while you are brushing, twice a day. As she gets a bit older, let her choose her own toothbrush with her favorite color. This will encourage her to brush her teeth regularly.
Ideally kids should brush their teeth after every meal but it is not feasible for parents to make them do it everyday. So at least 2 times a day i.e. in morning after they wake up and at night just before they sleep, is must.
Selecting a Baby Toothbrush
1. You can start with a finger tooth brush/wipes.
2. To train baby how to brush her teeth, you can select this type of training tooth brush.
Or a whole training set like this:
Along with it you can give your baby such chewable toothbrush cum teether
3. Once baby has enough number of teeth (4-6) then select such sensitive baby brush
4. Round 360 degree bristle brush is very good for kids when then have molar teeth. It cleans properly.
Precaution is always better than the cure. It is tiring to run after fussy kids but surely you will prefer that than seeing your child going through painful cavity cleaning.
For healthy teeth brushing 2 times a day is most important and the way you brush teeth matters a lot. So Don’t Rush When You Brush!