The Ultimate Guide to brushing your kid's teeth

The Ultimate Guide to brushing your kid's teeth

Isn’t it exciting to see your baby’s first tooth pop through the gums? As a parent, your job now is to take care of the dental needs of your child. Dental care should begin as soon as the first milk tooth appears, which usually happens around 6 months of age. Learning oral hygiene practices at a young age is important for long-term dental health.

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Why are Baby Teeth important?

Although they are temporary, but it is a must to take care of your baby’s primary teeth.

  • They help your baby form words and sounds and hence, affects the overall speech development.
  • They help in the process of chewing.
  • These act as space holders in the jaw, before the permanent teeth come through. Hence, baby teeth need to be taken care of so that the second set of teeth last your child well into adulthood.

When and How should your baby start brushing?

#1. The answer is as soon as the first tooth appears! The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends cleaning your baby’s gums with clean and wet gauze or muslin or a finger brush. Simply put it around your finger, put a little toothpaste and run it around. That is sufficient to disturb the bacterial plaque.

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#2. Once your baby’s teeth have erupted completely, you can graduate to a toothbrush. Always choose a soft brush with a small head and a large handle. Also, it is a good idea to check packaging to see the age range the brush is designed for. Make sure you replace your baby’s tooth brush after every 2-3 months. If the bristles start spreading out, the toothbrush needs to be changed.

#3. Choosing the right toothpaste can help reduce bacterial plaque that deposits on the teeth. Brush their teeth by using safe and natural toothpaste.

Fluoride Needs

Fluoride is required if taken in the right amount at the right stage, but not in the case of infants. Since very small babies cannot spit out the toothpaste, it is always a good idea to start your little one on a fluoride-free toothpaste which is also free of Paraben, Phthalates, and Petrochemicals and hence is totally safe if swallowed.

Guide to brushing your kid's teeth

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#4. Move the brush in soft and gentle circles to clean the outer sides of the teeth and gums. After this, move in circles on the inside of the teeth and gums. Brush back and forward.

Brush teeth thoroughly twice per day (morning and night). You can increase the amount of toothpaste as your kid crosses 3 years. You can also discuss your child’s fluoride and dental care needs with your pediatrician.

Ways to make brushing enjoyable

Kids are usually not very enthusiastic about brushing their teeth. With sore and tender gums, they also find brushing discomforting. For most moms, every morning begins with a struggle to motivate and force kids to brush. Carelessness in brushing teeth can lead to problems like cavity, gingivitis, periodontitis, gum bleeding etc.

Getting your kids to love brushing might not be an easy thing to do but is extremely important. Read these ways to make brushing enjoyable for kids:

  • Let them explore: Allow your child to hold the brush and examine it at his/her own pace.
  • Teach them in a fun way: The play way method is the best way to reach out to kids. Make a game.
    Distract them. Sing a song while cleaning your kid’s teeth. For some kids, a little distraction is all that is needed.
  • Educate them about Oral Hygiene: Educate your children about the importance of oral hygiene. Kids love to hear stories. Make up a story with your child’s favorite character and tell how he/she suffered due to ignorance of oral hygiene.

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  • Reward good habits: Acknowledge and praise your child when they do something praiseworthy. This is a great motivation for them.
  • Practice what you preach: Children do what they see. Always model good behavior in front of your kid. If you want your child to brush his teeth, make sure you do it every day in front of your child. Involve other family members too.
  • Accessorize: You can easily get colourful and exciting brushing accessories in the market. If these can motivate your child to brush regularly, then why not?