Babies and ChildrenThe child's teeth: when to start cleaning and how to do it

The child’s teeth: when to start cleaning and how to do it

From what age should we start brushing the baby’s teeth? Is it necessary to do this even if your teeth haven’t come out? We find out when the best time to start is and how you should do it.

Brushing your teeth is a must in adults to prevent cavities and all kinds of oral diseases.  Throughout the day we eat all kinds of foods that contain harmful substances such as sugars and that is why at least 2 times a day we dedicate a few minutes to cleaning them. Now, does our son need to brush his teeth?

It is normal, especially when we are first-time parents, that from the moment we begin to observe that the baby’s first teeth begin to emerge, we consider when to start with their dental hygiene, especially when they are still quite young.

When to start with oral hygiene?

Many families consider that oral hygiene begins with the appearance of permanent teeth.  Since, after all, baby teeth are going to fall out, they do not deserve to be cared for. Error!

Dentists advise starting dental hygiene even before teeth have appeared for the first time. That is, when the child reaches 6 months and begins to eat foods other than breast milk, it is already sensitive to oral diseases.

Experts explain that even if we do not see the teeth, they are under the gum and bacteria and harmful substances can reach them in some cases.

How do you brush a baby’s teeth if they don’t have one?

This is a good question. Cleaning has to be done twice a day, especially after breakfast and before going to sleep. The procedure is simple: with a gauze or cotton and a little water you should clean the surface of the gum, thus removing remains of porridge and other foods. Let’s remember that the fruit that we give to our children has a high level of sugar.

Once our children’s teeth grow, we can switch to a toothbrush with soft bristles and as it continues to grow, at approximately 2 years, we will use the toothpaste.

He does not open his mouth … What a nightmare!

At no time should we be obsessed with opening the child’s mouth and less with forcing it for two simple reasons:

  1. We may harm you unintentionally.
  2. We will associate tooth brushing as a horrible and traumatic event for both parties.

We must first lead by example. If our son sees that twice a day we go to the bathroom to brush our teeth, this will arouse his curiosity. It is a good idea that before “attacking him with the brush without him knowing the reason” he sees us how we brush our teeth, helps us to put on the toothpaste, and so on. Once you are familiar with the process, we can offer you to wash them as well.

Second, we must go to the pharmacy in search of the necessary materials.  Integrating it into activities is always positive and will motivate you more when doing them. We can take a trip to the pharmacy or the supermarket to see what objects we need and for him to choose them. Aspects that are insignificant to us such as colors, for children can be something crucial. So the fact that you choose something beautiful will make you want to wear it in the future.

Encouraging rapprochement would be the third step. Let’s not pretend that the child opens his mouth the first time we want to clean his teeth as if we were dentists. It is a new situation that creates insecurities. Let’s start as an imitation game for adults and little by little we will turn it into an effective cleaning.

Positive reinforcement is very important and small approaches to our ultimate goal are to be celebrated. Maybe the first day he just sucks on the brush or plays with it, nothing happens, let’s be patient and guide him towards our goal.

Finally reinforce the habit. We must make it clear that what has started as a game has to be repeated throughout the day, at least 2 times and the key to creating habits is not to waver. This does not mean that we should get angry, but that we have to be persistent.

Now he wants to wash them himself!

This is the best sign since this stage comes when the child considers himself autonomous and wants to be responsible for his actions. So we have to be patient and ignore that the first few times brushing will not be effective. However, if we can get our child to adopt this habit by himself, we will not only be promoting him away from oral diseases but we will be establishing a habit forever throughout his life.

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