Gums, teething and losing the first tooth – how to care for tiny teeth

Before your little one’s first tooth even appears, oral hygiene is already essential. If you think about it, your babe’s mouth swirls around anything from breast milk or formula, to small bits of food in the weaning stage. 

Bacteria love to grow in our mouths. For your little one, tooth decay can interfere with speech development and food nutrition. 

Gums, teething and losing the first tooth are all part of your child’s development. So how do you care for tiny teeth? Read on to find out how you can help:

Brushing my baby’s teeth

Baby’s like to chomp. From their favourite stuffed toy to a wooden spoon, children like to chew. Usually, the harder the toy, the better. This may even include your finger, which trust me, goes from cute to painful in seconds!

As soon as your babe has cut their first tooth, you can start brushing their teeth. 

Gently wipe clean your little one’s teeth and gums with a soft, damp washcloth, a dental wipe or a finger. Doing this after meals and at bedtime will establish a good dental routine early on. 

When your child has developed more teeth, you can start using a soft-bristled toothbrush. You can introduce a tiny smear of age-appropriate toothpaste to get your little one used to the whole process. 

As soon as the bristles become rough and out of shape, get a new brush. Older toothbrushes are a favourite place for bacteria to build-up too, so toss them out. 

Baby’s gums

The idea of brushing your babe’s gums may seem a bit strange. I mean, there’s no teeth in there, why should you bother? 

Bacteria can grow without the assistance of teeth! Sugary deposits from your little one’s milk are a natural haven for bacteria. So taking care of your child’s gums will promote good oral health long before their first tooth appears. 

As mentioned before, trying a damp, soft cloth, dental wipe or a silicone finger brush will gently clean your babe’s gums. 

Teaching your little one to brush

As soon as your child can sit up and handle a toothbrush, it’s worth letting them experiment themselves. They can get a feel for the texture, weight of the brush and a sense of routine all in one. 

When you enter the toddler stage, your little one is likely to want to brush their teeth solo. So, let them try! Just make sure you give their teeth a once over before bedtime. 

A good teacher will always demonstrate a task for their pupil. So, show your child how it’s done! Seeing you brush your teeth will show your child how important it is too. 

Investing in a brush that is eye-catching, or is printed with your babe’s favourite character will make toothbrushing fun!

A time to connect

Getting your little one to sit on your lap as you brush their teeth will help them feel connected to you. It will help your child to feel more confident and build trust. 

Brushing in soft, circular motions will dislodge any debris or sugars that have built-up on your child’s teeth. You will also need to make sure you get to the hard to reach areas and spend time on the front and back of each tooth. 

Brushing your babe’s teeth at least twice a day will quickly build-up a good routine. It’s a moment for you both to share together and learn from each other. 

Losing the first tooth

Enter the tooth fairy! Your child has lost their first tooth, but what do you do now? 

First off, get your little one to gargle with some warm water to ease any bleeding. Then, carry on as usual! Be mindful of where the tooth fell out, and brush gently to avoid irritation. 

Now that your babe has lost their first tooth, you can reinforce why good oral hygiene is essential. Their adult teeth are on their way, so keeping their gums and teeth healthy, will help their future dental health. 

When your child isn’t a toothbrushing fan

Every parent has been there. When your child suddenly decides they don’t like something, and now you are tasked with making broccoli, travelling in the car or brushing their teeth fun again!

Getting your child engaged and involved with their oral hygiene will make your job so much easier. Toothbrushing doesn’t have to be a chore after all. 

Let your child brush and dance to their favourite song (2 minutes is all you need!) Or, invest in a flashing timer toothbrush. It’s incredible the power of colourful lights!

Caring for your little one’s teeth has never been simpler! Building an excellent oral hygiene routine early on will set your child up for life. Are you ready to start your child’s toothbrushing journey?


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