WootBot


quality posts: 15 Private Messages WootBot

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You wouldn't think of going a day without brushing your own teeth. At least, I hope you wouldn't. Oh, you do sometimes? No no. That's cool. Yeah, I can totally hear you from way over here. No need to get closer. So anyway, yeah.

One of my friends called me not so long ago. She was upset because her 18-month-old son has to have oral surgery. There were some issues during his birth that have led to poor enamel development, so even though she brushes his teeth every day, his teeth are prone to cavities.

But that made me think ... at what age should you start brushing your child's teeth? My assumption is, as soon as they get them, right? I've been trying this with my now 10-month-old son since he was 8 months old. And let me tell ya, it ain't no pleasure cruise.

He has six teeth. Four up top and two on bottom. I bought him a tiny baby toothbrush and some baby-friendly toothpaste. I've been trying to make a routine of it. Whenever I'm brushing mine, we brush his. But I can only get in a couple decent swipes before he wiggles away, grabs the brush, starts screaming or all of the above. So I usually just end up letting him chew on it while I finish getting ready.

So ... do you brush your little one's teeth? And if so, HOW? There must be a trick to it that I'm not thinking of. Your guidance is much appreciated. :)

Photo by Flickr member Jean Pichot, used under a Creative Commons License.

smiladybug


quality posts: 0 Private Messages smiladybug

The boring technical answer: What you're doing is all there is to it! You'll have better luck with a toothbrush after 18-20mo. In the meantime, a wet washcloth between your fingers is good enough for a good scrub-down. Letting him chew on the toothbrush (to feel the bristles) is fine for now and as he gets more dextrous, he'll want to 'scrub like mom& dad.' Also, some kids may not like the toothpaste, so you can also skip that if you want.

ziekk


quality posts: 7 Private Messages ziekk

We use the kind of toothbrushes that go over our fingertips, I think it makes it easier.

Going "Raawwrrrr momma's gonna come tickle your teeth!" may or may not actually help anything, but my 10 month olds seems to enjoy it.

amynance


quality posts: 6 Private Messages amynance

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ziekk wrote:We use the kind of toothbrushes that go over our fingertips, I think it makes it easier.

Going "Raawwrrrr momma's gonna come tickle your teeth!" may or may not actually help anything, but my 10 month olds seems to enjoy it.



WHAAA? See, I had no idea those even existed! In for one now.

bamfina


quality posts: 2 Private Messages bamfina

My sister's a pediatric dentist, and it sounds like you're doing most of the right things. You're trying to train your infant early because when he gets older, it just gets harder for him to get used to the whole toothbrushing idea. (Imagine wielding a toothbrush on your 3-year-old for the first time in his life. Shudder.)

One trick my sister taught me to get maximum cleanliness is to have the child sit on your lap facing away from you when you brush their teeth. This helps you not only keep them in place, but they can't escape the toothbrush/wet wipe as easily as when you're trying to brush facing them. We give our 14-month-old a clean toothbrush of her own to wave around while we clean with the real brush, which both distracts her and makes her like the whole process a little more.

Hope that helps and good luck!

Mancho


quality posts: 4 Private Messages Mancho
amynance wrote:WHAAA? See, I had no idea those even existed! In for one now.



We used one, also. They are so much easier to use. Be prepared for baby to chomp on your finger, though.

jeffandeliza


quality posts: 0 Private Messages jeffandeliza

A relative bought our daughter one of those cheap electrical toothbrushes with princesses on it. She loved it!

coreopsis79


quality posts: 1 Private Messages coreopsis79

When my baby was about 11 month (late teether) I used wash cloth to clean and then used the silicone finger brush. Since the silicone finger brush is a lot thicker than the wash cloth, it didn't hurt as much when my baby bite down. Eventually she got used to it and didn't bite me when I brush. Then I started using a toothbrush and I have been struggling with it ever since. She's 2 now and wants to do everything herself. When I try to brush her teeth, she'll cover her mouth, runs away, or bury her head somewhere. Sometimes I have to sit on her and pry her mouth open to brush. Good luck to you!

RWoodward


quality posts: 58 Private Messages RWoodward
ziekk wrote:We use the kind of toothbrushes that go over our fingertips, I think it makes it easier.

Going "Raawwrrrr momma's gonna come tickle your teeth!" may or may not actually help anything, but my 10 month olds seems to enjoy it.



We use those on the cats. The talking part does no good, nor does laughing. Ever see a cat try to spit?

ziekk


quality posts: 7 Private Messages ziekk
Mancho wrote:We used one, also. They are so much easier to use. Be prepared for baby to chomp on your finger, though.


The one we have is thick enough that even when they do bite down, it doesn't really hurt.

psymanowicz


quality posts: 0 Private Messages psymanowicz

ProBabyToothbrushingTip: We like to pretend to brush the teeth of the stuffed dog, the bath toy characters, or the japanese mask making a toothy scowl and then try for her mouth. We usually can get a few good brushes in. Rinse, repeat.

amynance


quality posts: 6 Private Messages amynance

Staff

Thanks for all the great advice, guys! Lots of good ideas.