when c started getting her first teeth in, mike and i had to do a LOT of googling to figure out what the best method was to keeping her teeth clean. i personally have a lot of cavities so i wanted to make sure i didn’t pass those bad habits down to c. you have teeth for life and i don’t want c to suffer like i have.
here are some tips and tricks we learned from our research, my dentist bff, and our experiences with c!
-don’t share food with your baby or kiss your baby on the mouth. basically, your saliva and mouth germs should never touch theirs. why? adults have bacteria in their mouths that babies are not born with. babies are also not born with a bacteria that causes cavities. they only get that from someone else. after c was born mike and i have been vigilantes about not sharing food with c or kissing her on the mouth. VERY HARD when it would just be so freaking easy to share a spoon, dish, etc or even give her a little kiss on the lips!
-same goes for sticking your finger in a baby’s mouth. your fingers have a lot of bacteria on them (esp under your finger nails) that babies are not exposed to. even if you just washed your hands~ be safe and don’t put your fingers in their mouth without a little cloth or glove on your finger.
-start wiping a baby’s gums as soon as you can (before they have teeth!). they should be used to having your fingers/hands in their mouths touching their gums. we used a little cloth when c was in the bath to wipe her gums and tongue down.
-so i read a few conflicting things about what kind of tooth paste to buy~ and ultimately the answer my dentist bff said was to use toddler toothpaste without fluoride. apparently too much fluoride will cause white spots on kids teeth (which are permanent). too much fluoride is bad for little ones so you have to be careful not to give it to them too early or in too big of quantity. we use TOMS training toothpaste.
-when c was little she would let us brush her front teeth bc she loved the flavor of the tooth paste. these days she insists on doing it all herself. so i always let her brush first (b/c she is super eager) and then it’s my turn. i try to brush her mouth twice and her little tongue. c only gives me like 3 seconds to do it so i have to make sure i get all the little grooves of her teeth and mouth.
-i get these tooth brushes from Daiso in LA and they are AWESOME. the handle is long which is great for me and the bristle part is tiny and soft, which is perfect for c’s little teeth.
-you’re supposed to see a dentist by the time your little one is 2 years old. they do a quick check to make sure things are looking good and there are no signs of cavities. c has crooked teeth so we have to make sure we are brushing those spots very thoroughly or cavities can grow there.
-did you know you’re supposed to FLOSS baby/toddlers?? uhh we didn’t. my friend told us we could use those tiny floss picks which will be fun for C and easy for us. c is 20 months (almost 21 months) so we’re gonna add that to our routine.
-the dr put fluoride on c’s teeth every time we visit. they do it at every visit between 16 and 24 months. cool right? c loves it and the little wash protects her teeth from cavities. =) ask your dr about it if they haven’t done it yet or have not mentioned it for an upcoming health and wellness test.
good luck to you and your little ones!! it’s so sad to hear when babies have cavities or need to go under anesthesia at 18, 20, 24 months. SAAAD!! they’re going to have those baby teeth for at least 6-9 years and to have to worry about cavities as a toddler is just TOO DARN EARLY! so take care of your little one’s pearly whites and make sure to brush at least twice a day (if not every time they eat). happy brushing!! xo