What should I use to clean my baby’s teeth?
Caring for your child’s dental health actually begins before the teeth erupt. Begin by cleaning the gums with a soft, warm washcloth at bath time, rubbing gently with your finger. Once the teeth begin to erupt, it’s time to look for a toothbrush.
Your child’s gums will still be incredibly soft, and teething pain can also make them particularly sensitive. Keeping this in mind, look for a toothbrush that has soft bristles and a smaller sized head so that you’ll more easily be able to correctly maneuver the brush inside your child’s mouth. You may want to spend some time experimenting with different textures of bristles to see which one your child enjoys the most. Making brushing a pleasant experience for your child during these early stages will be crucial to establishing good brushing habits for life. It’s also important that you find a toothbrush with a larger handle that is both easy to grip and non-slip. Some brushes come with a non-slip cover; these are highly recommended.
Electric Toothbrushes For Children
While electric or vibrating toothbrushes for children are quickly gaining popularity and may seem tempting due to their size, they’re best avoided. Many parents are tempted by these due to the effect vibration can have on a baby’s sore teeth, the sound and sensation may actually startle a baby. If they jerk away quickly, you risk injuring their gums or even gagging them. It’s best to avoid these types of toothbrushes until your child is older.
Once you’ve chosen a toothbrush, it’s time to choose a toothpaste. If your child is younger than six months old, choose a toothpaste that does not contain fluoride. Once they’ve passed the six month mark it’s okay to switch, but continue using only a small amount (about the size of a grain of rice).