Brushing a baby's teeth?
A baby's teeth are already developing under the gums. On average, babies' first teeth appear at around six months. Each child develops at his/her own pace, so it is not surprising if this is not the case. There are children who get their first tooth at around four months and those who only get their first tooth at one year.
Does the first tooth need to be brushed? Sure, it does.
Young children drink a lot of milk products during the day. These include breast milk, artificial milk, porridge or other dairy products. Dairy products contain sugar. A child needs sugar, but all types of sugar attack the teeth. The enamel of a new tooth is still very vulnerable. That is why dentists recommend starting with brushing from the first tooth.
If it is a single tooth, brushing once a day is sufficient. Do you see more teeth in the mouth? Then it is recommended to brush twice a day. It is best to do this after the last feed/meal. To get your child used to the taste of toddler toothpaste, use a small amount (the size of a rice grain).
How to brush teeth?
Many children find a real toothbrush strange and will sometimes refuse to open their mouths for it. A good way to start learning to brush is with a fingertip toothbrush. Experience shows that children are much more inclined to open their mouths.
A fingertip toothbrush is a silicon brush which, as the name suggests, is slid over the finger of the parent or carer. In this way, the first teeth can be cared for in a playful but effective way, and the child will get used to brushing.
Does the child still find it annoying? Give them a toy to distract them, make it into a game or show them how to do it.
Teething causes sensitive or painful gums. Massaging the gums can provide relief, as can biting on teething toys. The Difrax fingertip toothbrush has massage balls on the back. Ideal for massaging painful gums.
Some children are given bottles of sweet drinks such as milk, juice or syrup in bed throughout the day. These drinks contain sugars, which expose the teeth too much to acid attacks and bacteria. This causes cavities in the milk teeth, also known as infantile caries. It is best to give a child drinks only at certain times of the day. If a child is still thirsty in bed, give it a bottle of water.