Helping Your Child Take Care of Their Teeth
We all know children are incredibly messy. Turns out, they’re just as messy on the inside as they are on the outside. Cleaning your child’s teeth must be top priority. Your child’s mouth needs to be cleaned regularly to keep it healthy.
Even before they get their first tooth, wipe their gums, tongue, and cheeks at least once a day with a clean, moist washcloth or piece of gauze. Drugstores also carry convenient terrycloth finger cots for this purpose.
Cleaning your child’s teeth or mouth, lay them in a bassinette and stand behind their head. Once your child gets too big for the bassinette, have you child stand or kneel between your legs while you sit, facing away from you. Then lay their head back into your lap. While you’re cleaning their mouth, keep an eye out for anything unusual like red or white spots, bulges, or cavities.
When the first tooth emerges, brush with a soft, moist toothbrush with a small dab of toothpaste, taking special care to clean the area along the gums, where plaque buildup most often occurs. Until children learn to spit and not swallow the toothpaste, stick to toothpaste without fluoride. As soon as they can do this though, switch to fluoridated toothpaste because it’s proven to prevent cavities. And when they cut two teeth that are touching, it’s time to break out the floss.
So who exactly does the brushing? The quick answer: You do. Although letting your little one take a “turn” brushing their teeth might help to make the bedtime battle easier. Until they develop the manual dexterity to brush all of their teeth thoroughly, your “turn” should make up most of the cleaning.
Need a helping hand at bedtime? Our Lil StarSmilez help teach and encourage kids to brush! Check them out.