When it comes to brushing your toddler’s teeth, your instant reaction might have you thinking “what teeth?!” But even before your young child begins to sprout his or her baby teeth, it’s important to start practicing oral hygiene early in order to keep those gums and teeth – once they do emerge – nice and clean. Here’s how to go about it:

Start Early

Even if your child has yet to grow their first tooth, bacteria is still present along the gum line. So it’s important to begin early and not only get your little one used to the concept of brushing to help them form those good habits for the future, but also to ensure that bacteria doesn’t linger and cause any infections.

What to Use

When your child has yet to sprout any teeth, begin by using a cloth or gauze. Dampen it a little with some water, wrap it around your finger and gently rub it along to their gums. This doesn’t have to be a long, thorough process – though you want to try and cover as much of the gums as you can. But a quick and simple wipe should do the trick.

How to Do It

As those teeth begin to emerge in your child’s mouth, it’s time to move onward and upward from the cloth to brushing. When you look for a toothbrush to purchase, ensure that it is designed specifically for babies, with a smaller head and soft bristles that can manoeuvre easily in their tiny mouth.

At this point, toothpaste is not necessary, so stick to a simple spritz of water.

Brushing for Them

Your child won’t be able to brush on their own until about 5 or 6 years of age. So to brush for them, simply tilt their head back slightly, and be as diligent as you can for covering all the areas in the mouth both with and without teeth.

Once your child is a year old, you can start to introduce toothpaste, only utilizing a small amount initially.

Forming Healthy Habits

Over time your child will naturally develop a great habit for brushing as you introduce them to the act good and early. Then they can naturally take over the reigns and perform their brushing independently.

Book a Dental Appointment

We recommend that you bring your child for a dental examination with a kids’ dentist when they reach their first birthday. We can examine your child’s mouth and look for any signs of future issues. It’s also a good way to get your child acquainted with the atmosphere for the dental clinic so they feel safe and comfortable.

Introducing oral care to your child at the early stages is not only the best way to embed proper habits for the future, but it also eliminates bacteria and helps keep their teeth and gums healthy and strong as they continue to grow up.