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Family Friday: How to Brush Your Baby and Toddler’s Teeth

Family Friday 250Toddlers Brushing Teeth: What You Need to Know

It’s never too early to start brushing your baby’s teeth. As soon as teeth break the gum line they are ready to be gently cleaned. Parents can initially clean baby’s teeth with a damp washcloth or gauze pad. This will be fine until more teeth begin to erupt.

As more teeth come in, you can switch to a soft bristled children’s toothbrush. There is no need to add toothpaste until the child reaches the age of 2. Some parents choose to purchase a non-fluoride toothpaste to use until the toddler reaches 2 years old.

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that parents wait until their children reach the age of 2 before introducing fluoridated toothpaste. After the age of 2, a small amount of fluoride is beneficial and will help to protect toddler teeth into adulthood. However, too much fluoride can lead to fluorosis, a condition that causes white spots to appear on adult teeth. Toddlers often swallow their toothpaste rather than spit it out, and for this reason it is recommended that only a pea size amount of toothpaste be used.

Toddlers often resist parental attempts at tooth brushing. To calm the battle, try to get your baby engaged in the activity itself. A trip to the grocery store to let baby pick out his own character-themed toothbrush may get him excited about the task at hand. When it is time to brush, let him try doing it himself first. When he is finished you can re-brush to get them thoroughly cleaned. Many parents find it helpful to make a trip to the library and check out some books on teeth brushing or baby’s first teeth.

Allow your toddler to watch you brush your own teeth and show him the clean teeth that result. You can eat something that leaves a residue on your teeth first, such as cookies or chocolate cake. Your baby will be intrigued not only with the dirty teeth but with the clean finish after brushing as well.

Parents can schedule their baby’s first dentist around the one year milestone. Even if your toddler has not had any teeth surface, a trip to a pediatric dentist can diagnose any possible problems that may be developing under the gum line, or locate a tooth that is preparing to erupt.

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6 Comments

  1. Mommy, Come Home: Embrace Your Life as MOM | The Finer Things in Life
    Sep 17, 2009 @ 19:07:07

    [...] post is linked to Family Friday. Category: Mommy Come HomeTags: life as mom > Mommy Come Home > stay at home [...]

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  2. Diann @ The Thrifty Groove
    Sep 17, 2009 @ 19:20:57

    Trying to brush our little princess’ teeth is such a chore. First she wants to do it herself and that usually means brushing her lips and chin. Second, she wants to suck on the toothbrush. So, we have been working a lot on this subject lately.

    Reply

    • Admin - Danelle Ice
      Sep 17, 2009 @ 19:29:06

      @Diann: lol Mine wants to brush whenever I go to the bathroom! Good luck :)

      Danelle

      Reply

  3. Kaye Swain
    Sep 18, 2009 @ 04:25:56

    Thanks for this information! The under-two info was especially interesting. As a grandma, I frequently have fun picking out special toothbrushes for all my grandkids for Halloween, Valentine, birthday and Christmas gifts. The boys are thrilled to get Hot Wheels and Super Heroes, the girls all love the princesses, and I have fun getting a healthy gift that I know they will love and enjoy using. :)

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  4. Tweets that mention Family Friday: How to Brush Your Baby and Toddler’s Teeth - Home Ever After -- Topsy.com
    Sep 18, 2009 @ 05:38:21

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Danelle Ice. Danelle Ice said: Family Friday: How to Brush Your Baby and Toddler’s Teeth [...]

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  5. amber smith
    Nov 16, 2009 @ 23:31:27

    I also had a difficult time getting my son to brush. I started using the firefly toothbrush from dr fresh. It comes in Spiderman and my son loves it. The brush has a light in the handle and my son swears it gives him spiderman powers! It’s cute and he’s brushing

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