If you have a toddler, it is advisable that you use a smear of fluoride baby toothpaste that is about the size of a grain of rice. Then move up to a pea-sized amount of toothpaste when your kid is around age 3 and able to spit out the toothpaste.
Do not ever feel worried if your baby swallows a little of the toothpaste.
Brushing A Toddler’s Teeth with A Baby Toothpaste
Right from the very first tooth brushing, your baby will benefit from proper dental care if a baby toothpaste is used. You may sometimes wonder why you encounter difficulties while trying to brush temporary baby teeth that will soon be replaced with permanent ones.
But brushing of your baby’s teeth is very essential to take good care of his/her teeth and also because establishing good dental habits early enough helps ensure a lifetime of better dental health.
Decayed baby teeth can interfere with good nutrition and speech development. If decayed baby teeth fall out, they don’t hold a proper place for future teeth, which can make the permanent ones come in crooked.
Not all baby teeth can be replaced with new ones, there are cases when a baby tooth may be in a person’s mouth throughout his adulthood which is known as adult baby teeth, also known as retained baby teeth but are fairly common.
That is why it is important to brush your baby’s teeth with baby’s toothpaste morning and evening.
When to start brushing a baby’s teeth with a baby Toothpaste
Tooth-brushing with a baby toothpaste can start as soon as baby’s first tooth pokes through the gums. It is always advisable to use a clean, damp washcloth, or a finger brush to gently wipe clean the first teeth and the front of the tongue, after meals and at bedtime.
Pediatric dentists usually prefer and advice you use toothbrushes moistened with water and no more than a rice-grain size smear of fluoride toothpaste.
The toothbrushes should be very soft and with no more than three rows of bristles (a pediatric dentist or your pharmacist can help you find the finger brushes and a proper baby toothbrush).
Is it advisable to brush your baby’s gums using the baby Toothpaste?
Children dentists often recommend the cleaning baby’s gums after feedings using a baby toothpaste. This activity also helps fight bacterial growth and promotes good oral health long before baby’s first teeth start to grow.
Instead of trying to clean the baby’s gums with a toothbrush, a soft, damp cloth, or even a soft rubber or silicone finger brush maybe better with a little quantity of the baby toothpaste.
Are baby toothpastes containing fluorides recommended for children?
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends using cavity-preventing fluoride toothpaste starting with baby’s very first tooth, rather than waiting until age 2 as was previously recommended. Use a rice-grain-sized smear of baby toothpaste for your child or toddler, graduating to a pea-sized dollop by age 3.
Never feel worried if your baby swallows some of the toothpaste because this will certainly happen. And since it is a little quantity it won’t cause the expected damage.
From the second year, you can educate your baby to spit after brushing, so that he/she learns that it is a habit to keep for the rest of his life.
Approaches to take if your baby doesn’t like the culture of brushing teeth.
Research has shown that not every baby love having her teeth cleaned — and a baby growing teeth(teething) and her gums are sore and tender, she might be especially resistant.
Below are some helpful tips to take when tooth-brushing time becomes difficult:
- Go easy: Baby’s gums are sensitive (even when she’s not teething), so if she really doesn’t seem to like the brush, try a soft washcloth and a gentle touch with a little application of the baby toothpaste.
- Sing a song: For some babies, a little distraction is all it takes to make tooth-brushing comfortable. Sing a favorite tune while cleaning baby’s teeth or make up silly versions of standards (maybe “Old McDonald had a brush,” or “Mary had a little tooth”). All these funny songs can get them distracted and make tooth brushing a bit easy.
- Show her how it’s done: Seeing Mom or Dad brushing and enjoying it helps make a game out of tooth-brushing time. “Mom goes first … now your turn!”
- Let her play: Your baby will probably be curious about the toothbrush or finger brush. Encourage her interest by allowing her to hold the brush and examine it at her own pace. She may even end up putting the brush in her mouth, all on her own.
Importance of baby toothpaste
Toothpastes are generally useful to maintain dental health and preventing dental disease like cavities. Some importance are.
- It also helps to control and remove plaque buildup.
- It also helps in preventing and destroying the germ buildup in teeth and maintaining gum health. However, a 2016 systematic review indicates that using toothpaste when brushing the teeth does not impact the level of plaque removal.
- Prevent cavities
- Strengthen weakened tooth enamel
- It reverses early tooth decay
- It limits the growth of oral bacteria
- Baby toothpastes slows the loss of minerals from tooth enamel
Best baby and toddler toothpastes
As long as it is a toothpaste that contains fluoride, a child can certainly use the same toothpaste throughout their childhood.
The following are the best toothpaste which children can use:
- Tom’s of Maine Anticavity Fluoride Children’s Toothpaste: Natural ingredients set this generally approved toddler and baby toothpaste apart. The fruity flavors are pleasant but not overpowering, which appeals to even the fussiest of babies and tots.
- Burt’s Bees Baby Toothpaste: This is another type of baby toothpaste for parents who go by the motto, “the less artificial, the better.” This fluoridated toothpaste is flavored naturally
- Tanner’s Tasty Paste Anti-Cavity Fluoride Baby Toothpaste: This baby toothpaste is free of sugar and still maintains oral health with fluoride – just in a more tot-friendly way.
- Crest Cavity Protection Fluoride Baby Toothpaste: This kids’ toothpaste fights cavities with fresh bubblegum flavor. And is highly effective.
- Colgate Fluoride Baby Toothpaste for Cavity Protection: This baby’s’ toothpaste has a mild flavor that won’t bother your child. Its flavor is very moderate and kids like it a lot. It betters the oral health of the child.
- Hello Oral Care, SLS-Free Fluoride Baby Toothpaste: It is also made without sodium lauryl sulfate, which can irritate some users. It is another very effective type of baby toothpaste.
- Aquafresh Pump Cavity Protection Fluoride Baby Toothpaste: This is a widely medically accepted baby toothpaste with fluoride. It is perfect for your kids when they start helping you brush (and then eventually brushes by themselves).
- Mitali Y. Patel, DDS, is a board-certified pediatric dentist and program director of the pediatric dentistry residency at Children’s National hospital.
- Healthy Habits; www.mouthhealthy.org/en/babies-and-kids/healthy-habits
- Adult baby Teeth; https://www.healthline.com/health/adult-with-baby-teeth
- American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry reference manual 2011-2012. Pediatric Articl011; 33: 1-349
- Dietary Reference Intakes for Calcium, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Vitamin D, and Fluoride. National Academies Press, Washington1997