By Amelia-Mae Cunningham
Blogger and Freelance Writer, talking honestly about motherhood and family life. After finding out she was pregnant in her final year of uni Amelia set up her own blog where she shares her experiences – we’re thrilled she’s chosen to work with MAM Baby UK
Brushing your teeth…
… A simple day and night ritual that we all have become accustomed to in adulthood. However, for babies and small children, it can take some getting used to. While some babies will love the sensation of brushing their teeth, some will take longer adjusting. The good news is that they will get there in the end and you don’t need to wait until your baby has a full set of teeth for the fun to begin!
Although your child will eventually lose all of their milk teeth, they play a vital role in the alignment and spacing of their future adult teeth. That’s why it’s really important to look after your baby’s teeth early on.
In light of World Oral Health Day (March 20th) here are some top tips to help you teach your baby to brush their teeth and make it a much more pleasant and fun experience for you both…
FIRST UP – THE BASICS
There are a number of ways to help get your little one ready for brushing even before there first tooth appears, using a muslin or finger cloth after each feed can both help get your little one used to the sensation and remove any milk residue from their gums. The MAM Oral Care Rabbit is perfect for this first stage.
Once teething begins MAM have their massaging brush, this acts and works the same way as any of your baby’s other favourite teething toys – however, it is unique in the aspect that it is shaped like a toothbrush. This can really help get your little one ready for brushing once those first precious teeth have emerged.
Once you’ve got them used to this feeling, you should opt for a toothbrush designed specifically for children (there will be specific ages on each type as a guide), MAM also have a range of toothbrushes for each stage. Their training brush has an elongated handle so that you can help guide baby’s movements.
Manual or Electric?
You might find that your baby will chew on their toothbrush quite a bit, so you may need to replace the toothbrush quite frequently. MAM’s toothbrushes all come with a safety shield, to help make sure that baby can’t hurt themselves by pushing the brush in too far. If you want to opt for an electric one, the advice is usually to wait until your child is three years old.
As with the toothbrush, there are a selection of children’s toothpastes, which all have specific ages on them. Remember, to only use a tiny smear of toothpaste for babies. Increasing the amount to the size of a pea, after your child turns three years old. The red bristles on the MAM brushes can help make sure you’re using the correct amount.
HOW TO BRUSH THEIR TEETH – THE BASICS
- Remember to bush your baby’s teeth twice every day. Just like us adults, babies teeth need the same amount of care.
- It would be a good idea to establish a routine early on. I found that the easiest time for me was to do my son’s teeth just after or before doing my own teeth. Now that he’s 3, he brushes them independently (with a little help for the back ones), so we do them together. This has helped me to create a much more calmer atmosphere while brushing his teeth.
- Brush in small circular movements and encourage them to spit after they’ve finished – the advice is there is no need for them to rinse.
IF THEY DON’T LIKE IT, DON’T PANIC
The most important thing is that you are trying and introducing their new tooth brushing routine is the first step. As long as you to stick to this routine, slowly it will become easier and they will start getting used to it, at their own pace of course.
You might find that they want control over the toothbrush. My son let me know very early on that he wanted to brush his own teeth, and that was fine. I gave him the toothbrush and off he went. I found that instructing him to open his mouth and tilt his head slightly back and say ‘ahhh’ made the whole thing more entertaining for him! He loved and still loves being in control of it!
TO MAKE IT FUN YOU COULD TRY…
A STICKER/REWARD CHART
Every time your baby brushes their teeth you could give them a shiny sticker. This will hopefully make it seem like a game and your baby will enjoy this fun reward system in toddlerhood too!
Your baby will enjoy seeing you brush your own teeth so do it together to help make it fun.
Good luck and enjoy this exciting development in your baby’s journey! xx