How to teach your child to brush his teeth from an early age!
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In this article, I will tell you my experience on how I taught my child to brush his teeth.
When my child was 5 and a half months his first tooth came out (one of the central incisors).
What I did was to call my dentist and ask for advice in order to do the best thing for my child: to preserve his teeth in the best possible way 😊.
The advice was to brush his teeth every evening so that he would get used to it, starting with a silicone baby toothbrush. And so I did!
Steps to start brushing your baby’s teeth:
Buy a baby silicone toothbrush. I bought one in the shape of a turtle, but there are plenty out there (see this beautiful banana baby toothbrush);
Give it to your child during the day so that he can play with it, put it in his mouth, massage his gums;
Include brushing teeth in his bedtime routine. Of course, you will not brush his teeth for 3 minutes, you just need to massage his gums and let him know that every evening, before bedtime, you will brush his teeth.
There is no need to use baby toothpaste at this stage, water is enough.
When my son was around 12 months old and had all his incisors I started using a baby toothbrush and added some baby toothpaste. My dentist recommended a toothbrush by GUM and toothpaste by Biorepair, which is fluorine-free.
In the beginning do not expect your son to open his mouth and allow you to see inside and brush everything properly. He will learn it, you have to be patient.
Rules to follow to teach your baby to brush his teeth:
Brushing teeth should not be a torture for your child, make it fun!
Use water only, without toothpaste if your child is under 12 months;
Even later don’t overuse toothpaste: consider using 1/3 of a pea;
If you use just a small amount of a fluorine-free toothpaste, you don’t need to rinse your child’s mouth;
Every time you brush his teeth ask your child to open his mouth wide;
If he is less than 12 months old he will probably not follow you, but keep asking and you will see the results;
If your child is able to speak, or to understand and emit sounds, ask him to say “AAAAAAH”and keep his mouth open, exactly as you do. Don’t expect your child to do it in the beginning, it will take some time. Don’t lose your patience, in time he will do exactly what you ask him to do;
Brush your teeth in front of your child so that he can see how you do it;
If your child asks to brush his own teeth let him do it;
Brushing teeth should be part of the daily routine;
In those days when your child is not feeling well you don’t have to “torture” him with the toothbrush. It takes common sense.
Starting brushing my son’s teeth since he was 6 months helped a lot. Also, brushing my teeth in front of him helped him understand that it is something normal to do. Now he is 25 months and brushing his teeth is fun!
Make tooth brushing fun for your child!