When should I start brushing my baby's teeth?

September 10, 2013

Chesska’s first pair of teeth started to sprout when she aged five months old, and more and more teeth were appearing gradually as she got older. Since she also started nibbling solid foods, there were some food particles which stuck between her teeth (yuk!), so it started to bother me, and asked myself, “When could I ever start brushing her teeth“?

Most dentists recommend that as soon as the first teeth of a baby erupt (generally at 5 months old), then you can start cleaning your baby’s teeth. At first you can use a soft cloth moistened with water for cleaning, eventually, you can introduce a toothbrush. On the contrary, I did not introduce brushing to my baby until she reached 18 months old. I knew It was too late, but “Better late than Never”, right?

Besides cleaning her tongue by scraping off left milk particles by finger brush, brushing baby’s teeth is also very vital to avoid bacteria lodging on the mouth. Also, we want to prevent tooth decay and bad breath from happening in the future.  I admitted I had difficulty introducing brushing teeth to my baby,  so before I made her mouth open, I had to sing her favorite TV commercial of Colgate. The song goes like this “(Brush3x three times a day) 3 times. Brush with Colgate.”  So when her attention diverted in a short moment, I seized the chance brushing her teeth. The cleaning was not that thorough because she would grab the brush and did the brushing by herself. Well, I just let her.

When did I use toothpaste?

In the first few days of brushing, I did not use yet toothpaste until she was familiarized with brushing. When I felt she was ready to take another challenge (lol), then I began using toothpaste for kids. Use a pea size amount to avoid too much swallowing of fluoride.  Fluoride is good for our baby’s teeth for it helps prevent tooth decay but it can be toxic too when ingested in big quantities. In my baby’s case, she frequently swallowed the toothpaste during brushing since she didn’t know yet spitting out.  So I made it sure that I just put the tiniest amount of toothpaste.

How did I encourage my baby to spit out?

Teaching my baby to spit out was the hardest thing I had encountered for it took weeks until she knew it.  What I’ve been doing was showing to her the way I brushed my teeth and how I rinsed and spat out. By doing it every day with her, she began to learn to spit out.  Do not ever underestimate your babies because they are incredibly great imitators. Just be patient.

How to brush a baby's teeth?

Disclaimer: The information shared on this site is based on my personal experience. Health and dental needs of a baby differ from other babies, therefore,  it should not be considered medical advice. Always consult your baby's dentist before taking action after reading this blog.

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