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It’s understandable that caring for your baby’s teeth may feel overwhelming at first. After all, it requires extra attention to ensure their oral health is in check. But with the right tips and tricks on how to care for your baby’s teeth, you can make sure they stay healthy. Read on for some essential baby teeth care tips every mom should know.

Mouth care for babies

In the first months, there is nothing better for the baby than breast milk. Breastfeeding helps develop jaw muscles so that food can be chewed easily later.

teething baby

  • That doesn’t really pose much potential risk to teeth later in life. Right?
  • True. However, you should switch to solid foods after a while.

From about half a year, most parents change the diet of their child. And that’s a good thing!

Many doctors suspect that breastfeeding for too long can have a bad effect on teeth (and lead to higher susceptibility to tooth decay).

First brushing experiences

In any case, you should pay attention to caring for the mouth and the teeth that will erupt later from the very beginning.

In addition to keeping bacteria at bay, regular oral care also brings other benefits:

  1. The baby gets to know and appreciate the stimulation in the mouth area.
  2. This can make teething (getting teeth) much easier later on.
  3. The baby forms first habits around brushing teeth.

baby teeth

To do this, you need only a few tools – often a cotton swab, a piece of gauze or even your finger is enough to gently clean the palate & tongue.

Before your baby teething

So you can’t start early enough with proper care of the teeth or mouth.

  • Children learn good habits from the very first moment and understand that this is simply part of personal hygiene.
  • Some parents already perform a simple mouth cleaning before the first little teeth break through.

So-called finger cots are particularly practical.

Fingerlings for mouth massage

These can be put over a finger and facilitate with their rough surface the massaging of the oral cavity enormously.

These finger cots from Grünspecht * are especially great. They are made of natural materials and have an antibacterial effect.

How does it work?

You want to pay attention to good oral hygiene even before the emergence of teeth in your baby? Here’s the best way to go about it:

  1. Stroke your baby’s jawline lengthwise with a clean finger, a fingerstall, or a piece of gauze.
  2. You can gently press and massage some areas that may already be catching your eye from early signs.
  3. Most of the time you notice quite well what is comfortable for your baby and what is not!

Tip: At a later stage, many parents prefer to use a knobbed toothbrush * . This facilitates the process enormously and can even be held by the baby himself.

toothbrushing toddler

Before babies and toddlers can brush their own teeth, mom & dad have to do it first.

Caring for the first little teeth

Some parents would call the emergence of the first teeth a bad joke of nature.

  • Just as the little ones have become accustomed to a semi-regular routine at night.
  • Suddenly, with the emergence of the first teeth, everything goes down the drain again.

The tips in this chapter won’t bring back your sleep – but they will help teach your baby how to brush every day.

In the correct care of the first baby teeth, you should consider a few things. But I summarize the most important things in the following section:

too much saliva in sleep

After the eruption of the first teeth, it’s often over with the restful sleep for some time.

When do the first teeth come in?

For most babies, the first teeth emerge around the age of six months. Within the first few years, all 20 baby teeth will erupt through the gums.

  • The top and bottom incisors often represent the beginning.
  • Somewhat later in line and associated with more complications are the molars.

During this time, children are often restless and have trouble sleeping. Some have no appetite or drool. In many cases, the baby also cries for hours because the erupting teeth hurt.

Experts recommend a wide variety of aids to ease the pain. Learn more about teething in this article: When babies get their first teeth.

By the age of three, all teeth should be there and parents can breathe a sigh of relief.

Are baby teeth really that important?

Why should you pay such attention to your child’s baby teeth at all, after all they will fall out again at kindergarten age anyway?

dental care children

What many don’t realize:These baby teeth also serve other important functions.

This is how these teeth help your child:

  • To chew food,
  • Learn to speak clearly
  • and act as placeholders for permanent teeth.

Tooth damage usually stays for years

If proper care is not taken with the first teeth, tooth decay or even worse damage can occur. Once bad teeth are there, they often stay for life

Bacteria, in fact, multiply furiously and, in the end, pose a threat to permanent later teeth (and cause permanent holes in the tooth)

pain sensitive tooth necks causes

Brushing habits & tooth damage often lasts a lifetime.

In addition, other medical conditions, such as chronic pain in the gums or receding gums, occur at a young age.

Note: Not to mention, thick cheeks will cause your child pain. Therefore, take good care of your baby’s teeth while the enamel is not yet fully developed.

sugar is harmful to baby teeth

By the way, sugar is especially dangerous during this time – use a tooth-friendly sugar substitute such as birch sugar (xylitol) as often as possible.

After about three years, the teeth are finally ready to better fight off bacteria and protect against tooth decay.

Brushing teeth with a toothbrush

If you practice serious oral care with your baby from the very beginning, getting them used to brushing their teeth with a real toothbrush will not be a problem.

In this process, children also learn especially from the example set by their caregivers.

Therefore, also adhere to proper dental care yourself.

Summarizing the most important:

Among the most important principles in oral hygiene are the following:

  • Brush your teeth with your little ones 2x a day. Use a small amount of toothpaste for this purpose. Preferably in the morning and in the evening before bedtime
  • Although some experts disagree on the best ingredients, you should not do without fluoride – this supports namely the structure of the tooth enamel.

Cleaning with babies

Infobox: Is fluoride harmful in babies & toddlers?

While it’s true that too much fluoride can lead to poisoning, that’s very unlikely when using toothpaste (which is spit out)

    for children up to 6 years special variant & smaller amounts.

  • Instead of the usual 0.15 percent, children’s toothpastes contain a maximum of 0.05 percent fluoride.

These variants are available in most drugstores and on the Internet on Amazon * to buy. Further down I go into more detail about recommended toothpastes for babies.

These measures help with the daily brushing routine

Tip: Link the teeth cleaning with a certain ritual. This is a fun way for your child to learn that it’s time to brush their teeth.

dental care together with toddler

It’s best to try one of the following to accompany daily brushing.

Rituals

Many parents find it difficult to introduce rituals with babies. But even if it gives the impression that babies do not notice much anyway: Rituals can make the day easier in a very natural and unconscious way.

That’s why you should make more use of them, whether it’s cuddling before bed or getting in the mood for brushing teeth.

Toothbrushing Song

The younger your child is, the more interesting you should make brushing teeth. Just as with falling asleep, you can make up a melody or a little lyric to go with it.

Most of the time, little ones don’t even care if songs make sense or are musically correct, it’s more about a fun distraction.

Tip: A daily repeated attunement song can also influence behavior in later years. Even if the child has been holding the toothbrush himself for a long time.

Hand puppet

Who has a little acting talent, can resort to a little helper or assistant when brushing teeth. The hand puppet might explain to your child exactly how brushing teeth works or help with brushing.

Summarized: This helper can also support the topic of dental care in the further course. Whether it is a visit to the dentist or the first use of dental floss .

Picture book

Picture books are also suitable for the very young. These often do not contain much text at all. The attention is rather on the pictures.

So-called Wimmelbücher are good for your baby’s language development and facilitate certain topics such as that of dental care or personal hygiene.

Together with your child, you can look at the pictures and name certain objects or even facts. So the baby learns, for example, what all belongs to the dental care.

In this toothbrushing book * there is much to discover. Together with your baby you learn so everything important to dental care. Thanks to the rounded corners and the firm paper, your treasure can also leaf through it himself.

Modern apps & toothbrushes

In the meantime, even the major manufacturers are focusing on making toothbrushing an exciting experience.

  • Many toothbrushes can be connected to the smartphone nowadays and motivate there with a point system and funny figures for brushing.
  • Such children’s toothbrushes are available from Oral-B as well as Sonicare. For babies, however, such devices are not yet necessary (a normal toothbrush is cheaper & better).

But from the age of 4-6 years, you can think about buying such a device.

You can learn more in this article: Toothbrush for children.

children's toothbrush benefits

With the help of a set brushing ritual, your child will learn to brush their teeth on their own.

The right toothbrush for your baby

So you should do without an electric device for babies.

It is important to be careful with the first teeth – they are not yet so stable and resistant! Therefore, many parents wait longer with the use of the first toothbrush.

In the beginning, especially chewing on hard objects can help remove dirt.

The first toothbrush

Later, however, you should switch to a learning toothbrush.

These toothbrushes have very soft bristles and are slightly smaller than regular brushes.

A thick handle helps the child get a good grip. From the fourth year of life, many parents already switch to the first electric toothbrush for children.

It is important to always pay attention to the pressure. Otherwise it comes namely to painful injuries in the mouth.

Later, you can then also switch to a proper electric toothbrush.

The right toothpaste for your baby

Children’s toothpaste often tastes sweet and is loved by the little ones mainly because of this. The problem with this is that it makes children all the more inclined to swallow toothpaste.

You should discuss the fluoride content of a toothpaste with your dentist beforehand. Because of the increased risk of swallowing, it is initially better to rely on a low concentration of fluoride.

toothpaste baby

To this end, there are special children’s toothpastes with lower fluoride content.

A pea-sized blob is enough for cleaning!

The use of fluoride divides parental opinion.

Studies show, however, that especially the direct contact with the tooth surface has a positive effect. Since fluoride hardens tooth enamel, it is part of healthy oral hygiene.

  • From the first tooth until the second birthday, it is enough to clean the teeth once a day with a fluoride toothpaste for children.
  • If the child is two years old, should be brushed twice a day from now on. Always check to see if your child spits out the toothpaste again.

taking baby to the dentist

Tip: If you have questions or uncertainties, you should ask your doctor. This can advise you much more individually than any article on the Internet.

Regular checks at the family doctor or dentist

In general, don’t be afraid to contact your primary care physician (and later dentist) if you have questions.

In a personal conversation & an on-site examination, he or she can accurately identify problems and give you tips on how to care for your baby’s teeth.

So take the time to make an appointment with the specialist at the latest after the first teeth have erupted. Don’t be afraid of the dentist.

treatment at the dentist with toddler

Regular checkup visits are just as important as daily brushing.

What’s the problem with pacifiers?

Parents should be especially careful when it comes to the use of pacifiers and teething rings.

  • As a brief aid during teething, this is fine (the baby can bite on it & thus quieting the pain).
  • However, if babies need pacifiers for too long, it can develop into a harmful habit.

In many cases, these aids also negatively affect the growth of the teeth, which can be problematic later (crooked teeth that require braces).

Attention to hygiene

Cleanliness is also not to be trifled with in this area! Bacteria spread quickly in the mouth, which can lead to infections or other problems

Caution: Cleaning the pacifier with your own mouth, by the way, is also a bad solution! This is how germs are transferred that lead to tooth decay.

Summary in conclusion

When it comes to dental care, you as a parent take on an important role during babyhood – because for the most part, the baby takes over your dental care rituals.

proper gum care

This is how you should go about caring for your baby’s teeth:

  1. It’s best to put your baby in a rocker or high chair.
  2. Apply a pea-sized amount of (children’s) toothpaste.
  3. Interact with your little one throughout the process and encourage him or her to open his or her mouth.
  4. Now begin to gently clean the teeth that are already there. But do not forget about the remaining gums.
  5. If your child bites into the toothbrush or wants to take the brush in his own hand, let him try quietly. So you develop joy in cleaning teeth.
  6. Afterwards, however, you should check again yourself whether the teeth are clean & no more food residues can be found.
  7. It is also important that the baby swallows only a little of the toothpaste (completely can probably not be avoided). Here, a cup can be useful.

If you want to know more about the first teeth (and how to best support your child), then you’re best off reading the related article on the subject: teething in babies.

The articles Proper Toothbrush for Kids and Dental Care for Kids also provide even more helpful information for proper brushing in the years to come.

Not least, this infographic around dental care summarizes everything again.

Healthy teeth aren’t just important for babies

You are welcome to browse further on this page (and find helpful tips not only for your baby, but also for yourself)

With proper dental care, you will not only save yourself expensive & painful treatments at the dentist, but you can also help yourself to impress others with beautiful & white teeth.

  • So invest a little time and learn which electric toothbrush, oral irrigator or sonic toothbrush for healthy teeth.
  • Or read what you can do about common dental problems such as receding gums (and how to best prevent them).

I guarantee that this knowledge will pay off for you. So it’s best to start learning more about your teeth today.

Of course, I also hope that this free guide has been helpful to you. Please recommend it to others to help as many people as possible.