Welcome to parenthood! As if you weren’t tired enough, now you have a whole new slew of responsibilities – changing diapers, preparing bottles, and even cleaning their mouths.
Before a child cuts teeth, you should be wiping their gums and tongue with a piece of clean, wet gauze or a finger brush at least twice a day. After the teeth erupt, you can graduate to a wet, soft-bristled brush. Around 2 years old, you can start using fluoridated toothpaste.
To get your baby to sit still so you can clean their gums, follow these steps:
1. Sit with your baby in your lap facing you, or sideways, so you have a good angle into his or her mouth.
2. Wet the toothbrush, soft finger brush or washcloth.
3. Gently scrub and massage the teeth and gums, starting with the front teeth and moving towards the back. Brush in a slow, circular motion on the teeth, and move gently up and down into the gums.
4. Give the tongue a little scrub. (Say ‘ahhhhh!’)
5. If any teeth are touching, be sure to floss after brushing. Try floss geared towards kids that comes with an easy-to-hold handle.
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