The first teeth that babies get are obviously going to fall out at some point but it is still important to look after them and teach your little one to look after them. The first teeth help them to chew, talk and make space for their adult teeth.
Start brushing once you see the first one coming through
Lucas is 18 months and has a few of his teeth now, since he got his first one I gave him a toothbrush and let him chew on it whilst I did my teeth. I then go over his teeth once he has finished doing them himself. Getting Lucas used to do this morning and night is setting the routine for him to continue with good habits.
Use ordinary toothpaste and baby toothbrush
Lucas uses the same toothpaste as us, there are so many options available that say they are specifically for babies or children but we were told by the dentist, midwife and health visitor that there is no need to use those. As long as the toothpaste has 1450ppm fluoride it is fine for every member of the family. Lucas is now used to the minty toothpaste flavour as well rather than getting used to a fruity baby flavour then us trying to change him to mint toothpaste once older. We use a small smear on his baby toothbrush, replacing the toothbrush every 1-3 months, when the bristles start to spread. Use small, circular movements taking care with the gums as they will be very tender during teething.
Encourage them to drink water
My Mum has often joked with me how boring Lucas’ water is and why don’t I give him a little juice. Lucas does get juice occasionally but I mainly give him water. Lucas enjoys water and doesn’t know otherwise so why would I encourage sugary drinks?
Encourage healthy snacks
If you do give your child sugary snacks or drinks, give them at meal times to give their teeth time to recover. For snacks in between meals offer savoury snacks such as cheese or vegetables. Encourage them to have a cup of water after a meal to wash any sugary remnants away.
Have regular dentist appointments
Lucas has visited the dentist with me since before he had teeth as I want him to get used to the environment and hopefully reduce any issues with him not wanting the dentist to look in his mouth. This also gave the dentist chance to check his gums before his teeth came through.
Make it fun
You can get so many various timers now, Lucas had one with Thomas the Tank Engine going round a track for as long as he should brush for. You can also let them tick it off on a teeth brushing chart.