Whether you decide to take your child to their first dentist appointment at their first sign of a tooth or by their first birthday is absolutely up to you; however, introducing the ways in which we brush our teeth should be within the first few months of age. This is not only to relive some discomfort regarding their teething process, but also to ensure they are comfortable with brushing their teeth right away.
We're not saying this will be an easy start; but, we are saying there are ways to make it more pleasurable and convenient for both you and child. Read bellow as we have combined 10 simple tricks to make the introduction to teeth brushing as much as a breeze as you possibly can. The easier it is, the better it will be in both of your futures. So, get inspired. Here are some tricks to get you started.
10 PURCHASE A TRAINING BRUSH
A training tooth brush often looks like a teether with soft bristles and handles. In order to introduce a tooth brush early enough to encourage comfort levels, we highly recommend purchasing one of these. They can easily be found online or at any local baby-store. As long as it resembles a tooth brush and promotes teeth brushing, you're golden. Not only can you use it after every meal, the baby will likely grab it as often as they can considering how good it will feel on their gums.
9 BRUSH TOGETHER
What baby sees, baby does. If your child is around you while you clean your pearly whites, they are more likely to copy you. This is a great habit to start early in their life, well into their adolescence. You can begin bringing them into the washroom with you every time you brush your teeth while they chew and hold onto their training toothbrush.
This will be a great start to their oral hygiene journey.
8 SING A SONG
Children love songs; especially babies. Often, children are able to relate time with sound. So, if you happen to sing the same song or hum the same tune to indicate how long your child should brush their teeth for, they often will. If this begins right away, it will likely be an easier task for their future. And, there's not need for embarrassment. It's just you and the kid. Perhaps they'll, too, teach their child the jingle if and when they decide to take on this parenting journey themselves.
7 STAY ON SCHEDULE
Children thrive on routine. It's important to introduce a schedule as early as a few months old. If you brush their teeth after every meal and before nap and bed time, they will often remember just from habit. By introducing a schedule early on, it will be less of a struggle as they age. Though babies and children may go through some regression from time to time, it's important to stick with it.
6 USE A SAFE AND FLAVOURED PASTE
Before the age of 2, it's important to use an edible tooth paste. And yes, generic toothpaste is not necessarily very safe. Continue to do your research and speak to medical professionals if you are concerned with the current brand you use. But, no matter which type you go with for your child, you'll want to ensure it's a safe and yummy-tasting paste before they understand it's important to rinse and spit. So, choose a paste that will be intriguing and delicious. That way it will be an easier time when asking them to brush their teeth.
5 PICK A SPECIAL CUP
If you allow the child to independently choose their cup that they rinse with, they may feel more respected and appreciated knowing that you wanted their opinion. They will feel as if they were part of the decision making- even the decision to do something that's so important. Having them make choices will allow them to feel pride. If it's something as mundane as brushing your teeth, ensuring it's special in any way can make a huge difference. Finding their favourite coloured cup with their initial on it may do the trick.
4 ALLOW THEM TO HOLD THE BRUSH
At times, some parents/guardians rather get the task done than being patient and allowing their child/children to figure it out on their own. It's important to let your child, as early as a few months, to hold their brush. That way they get the sense of controlling the brush in their mouth. It will allow them learn how to bring it to areas in which need reaching.
Of course there will be moments where the parent will assist in its guidance, but it's vital we allow them to hold the brush to encourage independence and comfort.
3 BRING OUT THE FLOSS
Adding an additional feature to your brushing routine is always a great idea. As young as their first tooth, it's completely encouraged and appropriate to floss their teeth before each brush. Even if you floss before bed, this will encourage them to floss on their own once they're capable; around 3-4 years old and onward. Bringing out the floss and reflecting a playful nature while doing it is a great way to encourage its use down the road.
2 KEEP BRUSH IN SIGHT
Even when your child uses the washroom, the tooth brush should always be at eye's sight. This way, it becomes an average thing in the washroom that they connect being an object they will often use. Even if you place one in a washroom they frequently use during the day but don't brush in before nap and bed time, it's encouraged to place one where they can see it just to get used to the sight. The more they notice it, the more it will become their norm.
1 GRADUATE INTO A SOFT BRISTLE
Once you and your baby have graduated from the training brush into a real toothbrush, it's imperative that you choose a soft bristle. Though many believe tough bristles will be rougher on the teeth, then clean them easier, it's actually quite the opposite. The softer the bristle, the easier on their gums. Especially at their young age, it's important to keep the bristles as soft as possible to encourage healthy gum growth. They need something soft against their teeth enamel, too. So, ensure you are purchasing a soft bristle tooth brush to make the start of their teeth brushing journey an easy one.