The thought of people buying toothbrushes for babies has always felt very counter intuitive... especially seeing as babies don't even have teeth for quite a while. But what a lot of people fail to remember is that toothbrushes aren’t always just for teeth, and that establishing oral hygiene for your little one early on is extremely important. In other words, toothbrushes for babies do serve a purpose!
When to Start
You can begin working on your baby’s oral hygiene routine before their first tooth even begins poking out. Try easing into it by using a dampened cloth with warm water to wipe down their gums after feedings. This will help fight bacterial growth that can occur in their mouths. Once you begin to notice their teeth surfacing, or as early as you and your baby feel comfortable, you may introduce them to an actual toothbrush (a baby one of course).
Remember that your baby might not be as excited about reaching this mini milestone as you are... Their mouths will be in some pain and they may be very fussy and irritated about what’s going on. Try creating positive associations with their teeth brushing time by singing a song while they brush. Brushing your own teeth at the same time as them is also a great way for them to see how it’s done, no matter their age. Using a toothbrush that doubles as a teether, which they are more familiar with, is also helpful. Most importantly, always remember to be calm and patient with their pain.
The Right Toothbrush
Like with most things in life the two most important components of choosing your little one’s first toothbrush are safety and comfort. Below is a checklist of the most important components to consider at when choosing your baby’s first toothbrush:
- Soft bristles to prevent gum irritation
- Single piece construction to avoid bristles coming loose (hazard)
- Shield to prevent over insertion
- Soft material in case of biting
- Large handle for easy gripping