We’ve been adamant about Claire having a clean mouth even before she had any teeth. We started using a gum massager with her when she was just an infant. We used the kind that fits over your finger starting around 3 months old.
After about 6 months we moved to a hand held one and soon there after we started using a very soft brush. Her teeth grew out quickly and as soon as she had four we started using a toddler toothbrush and a little bit of baking soda to clean things up.
You can even see that she had a couple of brushes it in one of our videos — A Day in The Life. Brushing can be uncomfortable and annoying for kids so we gave her a choice of colors and shapes for her toothbrush; when kids have choices, they get more involved.
We did this until about 18 months and now we’re using a kids toothbrush and kids toothpaste. We make a big deal about cleaning our teeth in front of her and encouraging her to do the same. So far the trickiest part has been teaching her to spit out.
My tip to teach your kid how to spit water and the toothbrush mix is to teach them how to spit first.
I did this with Claire in the shower by holding her up with me close to the shower head and letting the water fill my mouth then “making a fountain.” I let her imitate me, then when it was time to start using toothpaste it was easy to teach her to spit out in the sink.
We’re just transitioning from kid’s toothpaste to regular toothpaste and we just started flossing. Both of these things can be challenging but it’s definitely better to start now than later. I recommend you do the same.
Introducing oral hygene will help ensure that your kid learns good dental care and habits. It’s tough I know, but it’s tougher seeing your kids with cavities and rotting teeth. I think it’s nasty when kids have cavities all over, and I know they can’t be blamed for that.
Recently we went to Pretend City for one of their dental check-up days and it was great. We met with Dr. Harvey Lee from Smile Wide and apparently all our efforts have paid off so far; Claire’s teeth are in great shape. Pretend City offers these checkups on a regular basis, I think every quarter.
During our visit, I also had a chance to ask Dr. Lee about using regular toothpaste with fluoride instead of kids’ toothpaste and whether we should be concerned with fluoride. His answer is in the video.
As far as Pretend City goes, they have quite a few toddler dental activities for your kid to play and interact with. There is a mock dental office that has a dental examination chair, and play dental tools. You can see those in the video too, all of these things make your first visit to the dentist easier.