Practical Tips and Tricks for Baby’s Oral and Dental Care
“Brush your teeth properly Every morning, every night! So that you can eat everything!!”
That’s the silly song made up by me for my baby. I have been singing it since I started cleanling her gums with my finger. A clean finger with trimmed nails without nailpaint was her first ever toothbrush! It’s important to clean and massage baby’s mouth with your finger so that you can feel the budding teeth and keep baby’s gums clean, healthy.
She had her first tooth quite late, around 8 to 9 months of age. So till that time I used the same method of brushing with my finger.
Later on, I got a small kid toothbrush. I tried brushing her teeth without toothpaste. But she loved to do it herself and in the process just kept on chewing on the bristles. It didn’t help much in maintaining proper hygiene.
Around 14 to 15 months of age, she started to follow what I was saying and hence it got simpler.
She started lying down and opened her mouth for me to brush! That was accompanied by laughing too.
Then I bought a cartoon kid toothbrush at 16 months age along with fluoride free toothpaste. She is fond of oranges so I made sure the toothpaste had the same flavour. Applying just a smear of toothpaste was more than enough. Brushing teeth has always been a fun activity for both of us.
Apart from that I try to rinse her mouth or clean her teeth with a finger after all her meals. Sometimes that is not possible on a busy day. Giving plain water after meals is also a great way of clearing residual food from baby’s mouth.
Also avoiding feeding bottle is important as its use, especially at night may cause milk accumulation and dental decay. She drinks milk from the cup so that’s good for her.
Persistent daily routine, some songs, patience and innovative ideas helped me a lot in inducing the good habit of dental hygiene in my daughter. Taking care of baby’s teeth is many times given the least priority or it is many times just the forgotten act! Earlier we do it the better!
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