16160 Monterey Road, Morgan Hill, CA 95037
Info provided by Dr. Ann of Santa Teresa Dental
As a dentist for kids, I get that question a lot. It seems hard to get your toddlers to do anything, especially brushing and flossing.
I always recommend to start brushing your child’s teeth and gums early, even before their first baby tooth erupts. It is easy to do. Just use a wet gauze or soft baby clothes to massage their gums gently. By doing this, your child is getting use to your finger in their mouth. It will help future brushing go easier.
By the time the first tooth erupts, use a soft toothbrush, such as an Oral B stage 1 baby toothbrush, a MAM training toothbrush or an Orajel baby tooth/gum cleanser. Most children at this stage like to chew their toothbrush which is a good start. Toothpaste is not necessary at this time. I know from personal experience that my daughter will eat the entire paste before she will give up her brush! Wet gauze or wet clothes might not work anymore at this stage, because your toddlers start to experiment with their teeth and start to bite.
Make is fun! Sing a song together while you brush their teeth. Brush his toy buddies teeth first, then brush your child’s teeth. Let her brush your teeth first, then you brush her teeth. Lay him down, upside down, with his head in your lap. Tickle her so she opens her mouth. Go to the store and let him pick out his favorite toothbrush with his favorite characters on it.
Nothing beats role modeling. At this age, your child wants to do everything you do. So make brushing and flossing a family activity!
And don’t forget to bring your child to our office within six months of their baby teeth eruption. His/her first appointment should be fun and exciting and the silly monkey brushing and flossing video will have them laughing.