Caring for our teeth is one of the many ways we take care of our health. Teaching children to brush their teeth effectively is something that will be beneficial to them for years to come.
So what do you do when your toddler won’t let you brush their teeth?
Brushing a toddler’s teeth can be a difficult task because kids who are teething don’t like having anyone’s hand in their mouth.
If you’re struggling to brush your toddler’s teeth, know that you’re not alone. Plenty of parents has struggled with the same issue.
My son had 6 teeth by the time he was 11 months old. I started brushing his teeth at 7 months when his first tooth popped out.
It was a battle to get the toothbrush in his mouth to clean it. After trying many things, I was successful in coming up with a method that works.
In this post, I’ll explain how to make brushing a toddler’s teeth easier.
I’ll also answer some frequently asked questions that you may have about brushing your child’s teeth.
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Why is brushing a toddler’s teeth important?
Brushing a child’s teeth is important because it prevents plaque build-up and tooth decay. According to the CDC, tooth decay is a common oral disease among children. If left untreated, it could lead to infection, tooth loss, eating, and speaking problems.
One survey done by the CDC showed that 28% of children between 2 and 5 years old had a significant amount of tooth decay in their permanent teeth.
Now that we know why brushing your child’s teeth is important, let’s take a look at some frequently asked questions regarding caring for a baby’s teeth.
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Tips to make brushing a toddler’s teeth easier
- Have your child seat on your legs facing outwards. This creates some distractions that will reduce their anxiety.
- You can try laying your baby down between your legs to brush their teeth. The change in position might make it easier.
- Don’t put pressure on your baby if they protest. Take a break and try again after a few minutes.
- Make it a game. Kids love playing games, so why can’t brushing teeth be a game as well?
- Let them play with the toothbrush. Chances are they will put it in their mouths in the process. That will be your opportunity to move it around in their mouth to brush their teeth.
Read on for answers to common frequently asked questions about brushing toddler teeth.
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When do you start brushing a baby’s teeth?
You should start brushing your baby’s teeth as soon as their first tooth breaks through the gums.
Some parents choose to clean their baby’s gums before they even have any teeth. Doing this helps create a routine for the baby. They will not protest as much when you do start brushing with a toothbrush.
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When do you start brushing a baby’s teeth with toothpaste?
You can start brushing your baby’s teeth with toothpaste when they get their first tooth. Make sure you use fluoride-free toothpaste made specifically for kids.
Babies tend to swallow toothpaste at this age, so a fluoride-free toothpaste will not be harmful to their bellies.
Besides using the right toothpaste, you also need to use a soft-bristle toothbrush on a baby’s delicate teeth. My toddler and I loved using a finger toothbrush as well as this soft bristle double-sided toothbrush from amazon.
How do you clean your baby’s teeth naturally?
If you don’t like the idea of using toothpaste early on to care for your baby’s teeth, there are other natural alternatives.
You should consider using this natural kid’s toothpaste from Grin. It contains no harmful chemicals, artificial colors, or sweeteners.
Another option is to use activated charcoal toothpaste for kids.
Growing up in Nigeria, we used charcoal to brush our teeth every day. It is an excellent alternative to normal toothpaste.
What to do when baby won’t open mouth for you to brush their teeth
If you’re struggling to get your toddler to open their mouths when brushing their teeth, then there are some things you can do to help.
The first thing is to change the location of teeth brushing. Ideally, you want to brush their teeth in the bathroom, but if that doesn’t work then change the location.
Second thing is to try brushing in front of the TV or mirror to give them some distraction. You can also give them a toy to get their eyes off the toothbrush.
Sometimes, I tickle my baby to try to make him laugh. As soon as he opens his mouth, I put the toothbrush in and get to work.
If your kid is older than 1 year old, play a “teeth brushing game” with them. The point of the game is to see who can brush the other person’s teeth the fastest.
Have them brush your teeth as you brush theirs, and see who wins. Making it a game takes the fear out of the event.
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Why are my baby’s teeth coming in rotten?
If you find that your child’s teeth look brown and rotten, then you need to act fast to save their baby teeth.
Tooth decay in babies is also called bottle rot. As the name implies, this type of tooth decay happens because your baby’s teeth are always coated in sugar from milk or food.
Babies who co-sleep and have their mother’s breast in their mouths all night long will tend to develop bottle rot tooth decay. This is because their teeth are constantly coated in sugary milk.
The same thing will happen if your baby sleeps with a bottle in their mouth all night. It will also happen if you don’t brush your child’s teeth after dinner.
To prevent this type of tooth decay, make sure you brush your baby’s teeth every night before bed to remove the sugar from their teeth.
If your child already has tooth decay, take them to a pediatric dentist to get it treated.
One of the most important things you can do as a parent is to teach your child self-care. This involves teaching them to brush their teeth every day.
As challenging as it can be, there are many tips & tricks to make it easier. In this post, I have shared several of them.
I have also answers to common frequently asked questions regarding brushing toddler teeth.
Before you go, I want you to remember to be patient with yourself and your child. This phase will not last for long.
I hope I’ve given you enough tips to help you brush your toddler’s teeth.
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