Coming from a family that has a few people in the dental industry, I know my way around teeth. Maybe a little bit obsessively, but it comes with the territory when you’ve spent your life trying to protect your teeth after they’ve been wrecked by viruses and anti-viral medications. I work very hard to keep them pretty and white, so I know that I need work just as hard to ensure my children have healthy, beautiful teeth, and it all starts with infant dental care.
Caring for your infant’s teeth doesn’t begin when they first appear, but long before that. Those adorable gums protect the bones that hold their teeth, and they need just as much attention, so rubbing the gums down with some clean gauze or a soft towel will help remove bacteria that can start to fester and inflame them.
Brushing should be begin as soon as baby teeth start coming in, which is why I recommend using Aquafresh, the little mouth experts™. Aquafresh’s dental experts developed a special training toothpaste that is free of fluoride, artificial colors and preservatives, making it safe to swallow when used as directed. This means no worries while baby learns how to navigate the art of teeth-brushing!
Brushing baby’s new little teeth can be a daunting task, if not absolutely frustrating, but it’s so important to start right away, not just for the sake of those pearly whites, but because it builds healthy habits and is a great start to a lifetime of healthy teeth. When it comes to infant dental care, I thought I would share a few tips to help facilitate tooth-brushing and make it an easier process.
1| Rub the toothpaste into the toothbrush. When you brush your teeth, you likely just squeeze some toothpaste onto the toothbrush and have at it, right? Well, with infants, they stick that toothbrush in their mouth and instantly suck off the pea-sized portion of toothpaste you so delicately applied. Take a freshly washed finger, or a clean q-tip, and rub the toothpaste down into the brush, so that baby actually gets some use out of the toothpaste while sucking so fervently on the toothbrush.
2| Put a toothbrush in your mouth. When baby refuses to open his/her mouth, try sticking a brush in your own mouth. More often than not, baby will do the same, since babies love to mimic! Opening your mouth really wide and making a simple, silly noise will also work, because if baby doesn’t mimic you, he or she will at least start laughing, and you’ve still accomplished your goal of getting that little mouth open.
3| Make a game of it. When you’re having a difficult time getting baby to cooperate, try taking a few toys, setting them in a row beside baby and pretend to brush each toy’s “teeth” one at a time until you reach baby. More often than not, baby will be so excited about the play, he or she will gladly open that little mouth for you to brush. Keep going through the rotation of toys and baby until you get all those teeth brushed; make brushing fun!
4| Reward baby for a job well done! Brushing is second nature to us adults, but to babies, it’s hard work, so be sure to reward them often. It could be as simple as reading them an extra book, to getting a new toy. Positive reinforcement for works for a reason, so use it to your advantage.
5| Brush baby’s teeth when he or she is most receptive. Although we brush out teeth over the sink, babies aren’t keen with spitting yet, so you can work on brushing anywhere, anytime. If that means you’re doing it at the table as soon as dinner is over, then so be it. In the bathtub during the nightly scrub-down? You gotta do what you gotta do. So long as you get that brush in that mouth, you’re winning, so get creative if you have a stinker on your hands.
Compared to your tooth enamel, you baby’s is 50% thinner, which is why you need Aquafresh’s expert protection. Check out their special app, learning to brush video, and make brushing fun page for even more goodies, tip and tricks and everything else when it comes to infant dental care!
Disclaimer: Please use product as directed on label.