Great Tips on How to Brush Baby Teeth

Great Tips on How to Brush Baby Teeth

How to brush baby teeth is an important question you are going to ask yourself when you become a mama. When is it essential to start? Most importantly, how do you brush your baby’s teeth when they kick and scream absolutely refusing to do so?

How to brush baby teeth was a topic I never thought I’d struggle with as a new mom. Yet I found myself with tons of questions and a baby who was not too fond of the process. A simple cleaning of teeth became more difficult than I ever realized! If you’re struggling with brushing your baby’s teeth, you are not alone mama.

My struggle with brushing my baby’s teeth cascaded into this article in hopes to help other mamas struggling too. Here are some great tips on how to brush baby teeth to help start you get started!

When should I start brushing my baby’s teeth?

Brushing your baby’ teeth begins before your baby even has teeth! That’s right mama, your babies dental care starts right at the gums.

Dentists recommend cleaning your baby’s gums after each feeding beginning a few days after birth to help prevent bacterial growth. Cleaning your baby’s gums not only creates a habit of good oral hygiene, but it can also act as a safeguard for potential teeth that may have started to break through that you are not aware of yet.

To clean your baby’s gums, gently wipe the gums with a soft, damp wash cloth a couple times a day, preferably after feedings and before and after sleeping. You can also use a soft rubber or silicone finger brush. A toothbrush isn’t quite necessary until teeth start to erupt from the gums.

If your little one is teething a helpful tip is to refrigerate or freeze the damp wash cloth. The cold temperature will help soothe your baby’s gums.

How do you brush baby teeth?

You’ll want to switch from a washcloth or silicone/rubber finger brush to a soft-bristled toothbrush as soon as your baby’s first tooth starts to emerge.

Apply a grain of rice size amount of cavity preventing fluoride toothpaste to the toothbrush. Brush in a circular motion for two minutes. Once your child is 3 years old you can increase the amount of toothpaste from a grain of rice to pea sized.

It’s awesome if your little one is eager to brush their own teeth! However, assistance is still recommended until they come to an age when you are confident they are brushing thoroughly.

What to do if your baby refuses to brush their teeth?

Let’s face the facts, not all babies are going to be too keen on you brushing their teeth. It can be beyond frustrating when they give you the tight lips and won’t even let you put the toothbrush in their mouth. What do you do? Do you just let them start brushing their teeth on their own terms?

The answer is 100% no. Just like you wouldn’t let them sit in a soiled diaper for days because they fight you on the matter. Treat brushing their teeth as just as important.

If your baby absolutely refuses, there is a simple technique used by dentists and oral health professionals called the knee-to-knee technique. The technique calls for two adults and the steps are as follows:

  1. Two adults sit on chairs facing each other with their knees touching.
  2. Gently lay the baby down so that their head is resting in one parent’s lap and their legs are on the other adults lap. The adult with the child’s legs should gently hold the baby’s hands down on the baby’s stomach to prevent them from pushing the toothbrush away. They should also focus on comforting and distracting the child if the toothbrushing process upsets them.
  3. The adult with the baby’s head in their lap should with one hand gently part the lips so that the teeth are completely visible. With the other hand gently brush the baby’s teeth.

The knee-to-knee technique can also be done if there is only one adult present. It just takes a little more patience and practice as you will be doing both the brushing and comforting.

Remember mama, even if your child cries or is upset with the teeth brushing process, you are doing a world of good by ensuring their oral hygiene is not at risk of oral decay and potential infections! Over time it will get easier and easier as they become familiar with the process.

Great tips on how to make brushing teeth fun!

Brushing your baby’s teeth can quickly become something you dread when you know they are going to fight you every step of the way. However, here are some tips and tricks you can try to help make the process more fun and enjoyable for you and your little one!

  • Let your baby play with the toothbrush and encourage them to hold it on their own. They may end up sticking it their mouth all by themselves! At that point you can help guide them towards the type of teeth brushing movements to make when the toothbrush is in their mouth. It won’t be an effective brushing, but at least they are picking up on the idea.
  • Show them how you brush your teeth and that it is fun for you. Be silly and show you are enjoying it so they may pick up that brushing teeth is actually fun!
  • Take turns brushing each other’s teeth. Let your baby practice brushing their teeth while you brush your own. Then switch and let your baby practice brushing your teeth while you brush theirs. Your baby will think it is a fun game and be focused on brushing your teeth so you can get the job done and brush theirs effectively. This technique is a personal favorite me and my daughter use.
  • Let them pick out their own toothbrush that may have their favorite cartoon character on it or maybe their favorite color. It will feel more special and personal to them and make brushing their teeth a more exciting event!
  • Sing silly songs together while you brush their teeth or play their favorite music to make it more fun.
  • Let them bring along their favorite stuffed animal or baby doll. They can pretend to brush their teeth while you brush your baby’s.

I hope this article and the tips and tricks provided were helpful mama!

Remember to have patience with your baby and yourself and to stick to a routine. I promise you, brushing your baby’s teeth will get easier with time.

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