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Home >  Information A-ZAll Kids Information ArticlesBrushing Teeth

Brushing Teeth:

Obviously parents are prepared to brush their children's teeth on a regular basis, but many parents tend to not think about it as quickly as they should. Dentists say that while the baby's teeth are forming under the gums, even before any have broken through the skin, formula and juices sitting in their mouth can cause tooth decay to develop into their toddler years. The problem, though, is that many parents don't know this, and it's really hard to think about brushing teeth that aren't there.

Fortunately, though, this is something that dentists and doctors alike are beginning to tell parents at an earlier age. It is understandable, though, that you may have questions as to how to go about doing this when you obviously can’t just hand them a toothbrush and let them have at it.

Toothpaste companies have jumped on the bandwagon and make a variety of toothpaste for small children, and large baby product companies make toothpaste and gum cleaners for babies. This can include just the toothpaste (or gum cleaner), or the cleaner, as well as a little rubber finger cover to apply it with. These rubber finger covers can work well, and some have little nodules on them that massage the gums as you clean them. This can work especially well for those babies who are in the process of teething. It may provide some comfort to their swollen, painful gums. If you don't have one of these rubber finger covers, and even if you don't have any baby toothpaste, you can still keep your baby's gums clean, which can still help prevent them from early tooth decay. Simply use a wet baby washcloth to wipe and juice, formula, or breast milk residue away.

Then, as your baby begins to grow teeth in, you can buy a soft-bristled (extremely soft-you will want to buy one that is specifically made for babies) toothbrush. Then, you still may have to clean their gums as you did before, as well as brush however many teeth they do have.

Then, as they get a little older, you can begin to let them brush their own teeth. You should try to not let them swallow the toothpaste, but at a very young age this is nearly impossible. This is why it is important to only use the amount recommended, and it is best to use toothpaste that is made for a child this young. Toothpaste that is made for babies and toddlers is made differently than that for adults. The makers realize that the users of the product will likely be swallowing it, so it is a whole lot safer than using adult toothpaste on a baby.

When you allow your child to brush their own teeth, you should show them how to do it properly. When kids first start brushing their own teeth, they will most likely just sort of chew on the bristles until they get all the toothpaste off. As long as you are using a child's toothpaste, this is okay, but you may still want to brush their teeth for them afterwards, so that they are actually ending up with clean teeth.

Aside from preventing early tooth problems, there is another benefit to brushing their teeth on a regular basis from this young of an age, and it is that you are instilling good habits into your child, possibly for life. It has been shown that the earlier you begin doing something, anything, on a regular basis with your child, the more likely they are to continue those habits when they grow up, and when it comes to good hygiene, that is always a good thing.


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