It is essential to encourage good dental care and create healthy cleaning habits with your baby right from the beginning. Before your child’s teeth start to come through, you can clean their mouth after mealtimes by gently wiping the gums and tongue with a damp cloth or gauze pad. When their teeth are due to come through, you can transition to using a rubber toothbrush such as the Training Toothbrush Set from Nuk, cleaning their gums with water. As your baby’s first teeth begin coming through, you’ll need to start them brushing with a tiny amount of toothpaste (about the size of a grain of rice).
Some children begin showing interest in brushing their teeth at around 18 months, while others take much longer. Of course, once they start, it will take some time for your child to master the skill required, so always follow up with a thorough cleaning of your own.
Here are a few tips for teaching your child to brush:
- If your little one finds it difficult to hold the handle, try putting it through a tennis ball to make it easier for them to grasp.
- Make it fun with a song or a game, and encourage them to brush for 2 minutes.
- Some children have trouble spitting. If this is the case, you can get them to tilt their head and let the toothpaste dribble out, then wipe it away. They’ll eventually get the hang of it!