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Brushing baby teeth

September 15, 2013

Baby toothbrush

Did you realise that a baby’s teeth should be brushed as soon as they start poking through the gums? My Mum didn’t, so I’d had two teeth for a few weeks before I  experienced my first tooth brushing.

Dad thought it was pretty funny the way I tried to suck the brush but normally when I have plastic shoved in my mouth it’s a dummy so I think I can be forgiven for getting a bit confused.

As Mum eventually worked out, a baby’s teeth should be brushed twice a day with a small amount of fluoride toothpaste. There’s no particular need for a special ‘baby’ toothpaste (although they are of course fine) but you should check that  the one you use has less than 1000 parts per million of fluoride.   Use a very soft toothbrush, ideally one especially for a baby (Spinneys stocks them with the other toothbrushes and also in the baby food section). In the earlier days of toothbrushing you may prefer to rub a piece of gauze or one of these silicon finger brushes with a little toothpaste over the teeth instead. These can also help relieve teething pain – a little massage for my gums.

We’ve found to start with the best toothbrushing position is for Mum or Dad to sit me on their lap facing away from them. Brushing my teeth whilst dangling me over the sink was never going to work really, was it? As I’ve got more toward toddlerhood it’s best to let me have a good chew of it first before Mum swiftly grabs it and does a proper brush of all the teeth – and gums where the teeth haven’t come through yet- for as long as I will let her.

Despite Mum’s best efforts to demonstrate toothbrushing to me on her own teeth she hasn’t quite worked out how to get me to spit out the toothpaste when we’re finished. All that dramatic exaggerated spitting she’s started recently to try and encourage me to copy her does make me giggle.  I do quite like the silly song she sings every time we brush my teeth to make it fun so I know that song means something good, not something to have a tantrum about! Now, if only I could work that video camera…

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