Health professionals agree: when your baby’s first tooth begins to pop through, it’s time to start brushing teeth. But how do you know what toothbrushes are right?
Many dentists recommend starting out with damp gauze or muslin wrapped around your finger to help clean baby’s mouth when that first tooth cuts through. Starting this way will help you to clean thoroughly and will get your baby familiar with cleaning teeth. But as more teeth begin to fill that little mouth, many parents opt to switch to toothbrush and too toothpaste.
There are many types of baby toothbrushes – ones with long handles to help you brush from above, ones with circular and chewable handles, bendable ones, finger toothbrushes, regular stick toothbrushes, and more.
When shopping for a toothbrush for baby, there are only two important features to look for:
- Small heads
- Soft bristles
Be sure to use children’s toothpaste, which has a lower fluoride level, and to use just a small smear of it when brushing your baby’s teeth. Be sure to encourage your baby used to spit after tooth brushing sessions – they likely won’t understand it right away, but it will help get them in the habit, and will discourage swallowing that fluoride.
Your dental office will likely have a variety of toothbrushes for you to choose from or try out. Be sure to bring your child to the dentist when that first tooth makes an appearance, and talk to your dentist about what tooth brushing techniques will work best for you and your little one.