How do you clean your toddler's teeth?

[deleted account] ( 20 moms have responded )

We've been using just a wash cloth, no toothpaste, and frankly not done it every day, but they have quite a few teeth now and I think we need to get more serious about tooth brushing....

Have you started using tooth brushes? Are you using those over-the-finger things? Or just a wash cloth? Do you use anything (toothpaste or similar) for teeth cleaning? What tie of day do you clean their teeth? When should babies start seeing a dentist, assuming no known teeth/ mouth issues?

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Michelle - posted on 04/10/2009

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Children should see a dentist when they get thier first teeth at around 6 months.



You should be cleaning teeth twice a day now. I still use a wash cloth, but add a small amount of 'milk teeth' toothpaste. I used to use a baby tooth brush but she kept chewing it and ruining the bristles, in turn making her gums bleed!



I fing the over the finger ones are quite harsh.



 

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Barbara - posted on 04/14/2009

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We hand our son his toothbrush while we brush our teeth, and he's getting pretty good at doing it himself.  He doesn't get the backs very well, but after I'm done with my teeth I will usually go over his teeth with a different toothbrush (not the one he is using) and I help him to brush his tongue then.  We occasionally will use some children's toothpaste because he likes the taste, but not very often.  Our son "flosses" with us as well.  I think if you make it a game and something that you all do together your child is more likely to enjoy doing it and it will become more of an accepted part of the whole routine.

[deleted account]

I started using a child toothbrush when he started getting teeth and he loved chewing on it...now he's almost got a full set and we changed his toothbrush to 'thomas and friends' that sings and some toothpaste without fluoride because they end up swallowing most of it. he still loves to chew on it and i just help guide the brush to help get those molars... he brushes after bf with me and before tub time at night. hope this helps.

Ryan - posted on 04/11/2009

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I use the "over the finger" thing I found at the grocery store. We also have a baby toothbrush that I let her play with when I brush my teeth. I put her in her bumbo seat on the bathroom counter and we brush together. She really just "sucks" on the brush right now, so that is why I use the "over the finger" toothbrush in the morning and at bedtime.

Cecilia - posted on 04/10/2009

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i use a baby toothbrush and baby training toothpaste that came in a package at babies r us and he eats the toothpaste and its not going to hurt him, he has about 8 teeth already i brush his teeth in the morning not sure when they are supposed to see a dentist.

Cecilia - posted on 04/10/2009

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i use a baby toothbrush and baby training toothpaste that came in a package at babies r us and he eats the toothpaste and its not going to hurt him, he has about 8 teeth already i brush his teeth in the morning not sure when they are supposed to see a dentist.

Jennifer - posted on 03/30/2009

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We use a stage 1 tooth brush. When we brush our teeth so does Alexander. He has just started to do what we do and it is funny to see him brushing his teeth up and down and side to side.

Stevie-lee - posted on 03/27/2009

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since my baby was about 9 months or ten months i started brushing his teeth. you can get firststage toothbrushes for babies that age and i buy the colgate brand first stages toothpaste. i brush his teeth while he is in the bath so that it is part of his routine and he knows to expect it. he is 13 months and if i forget to do it he points to were i keep his toothrbush and sooks at me til i get it because h eknows that thats what he has to do when he has a bath.

Tina - posted on 03/26/2009

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I am using a baby brush and a little bit of 'toddler toothpast' bought at babies r us...he screams and fights, but eventually gives in...He is getting it and now lets me clean before milk cup in the morning, but at night is a more struggle...I was told when they get all their teeth, they need to go...until then the pediatrician can evaluate..

Melissa - posted on 03/26/2009

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I brush my twins teeth before bed but am going to start in the morning as well. We use a baby toothbrush and they both love it! I use a flouride free paste but it depends on where you live...where I live they don't add flouride to the water so the dentist actually recommends a child toothpaste with flouride!

Beth - posted on 03/25/2009

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I started with a wash cloth at about 5-6 months and used a baby brush at 12 months i do NOT use paste i asked my dentist and she saied to start that after they can learn how to spit it out. so we just say awww and brush with water 2 times a day. good luck

Casurina - posted on 03/25/2009

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I just use wash cloth most of the time, although Ive also started using the soft tooth brush for babies, perhaps once a week. My little bb likes to bite a lot, which makes it difficult for me to clean his teeth every nite! I don't feed him chocolates or any other sweetener juices to avoid faster teeth decay in the future. He is going to have his 1st dental appt. when he is 18 months old. Anyways, not to worry, wash cloth is fine, at least before bed time.

Casurina - posted on 03/25/2009

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Quoting Silja:

How do you clean your toddler's teeth?

We've been using just a wash cloth, no toothpaste, and frankly not done it every day, but they have quite a few teeth now and I think we need to get more serious about tooth brushing....

Have you started using tooth brushes? Are you using those over-the-finger things? Or just a wash cloth? Do you use anything (toothpaste or similar) for teeth cleaning? What tie of day do you clean their teeth? When should babies start seeing a dentist, assuming no known teeth/ mouth issues?


 

Laura - posted on 03/25/2009

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Quoting Tanya:

I brush my daughter's teeth twice a day (and she only has 4 of them!) ... after breakfast and before bed at night. We use a child soft toothbrush with a very small amount of flouride toothpaste (as recommended by the dental hygenist). After I brush them, I give the toothbrush to her to play with for a bit - she loves the whole process!



I would double-check with your pediatrician. 



The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that fluoride supplements not be given in infants younger than six months of age because of the concerns about fluorosis in this age group.



Don't use toothpaste or mouthwashes containing fluoride in children under age two, since toddlers can swallow toothpaste and get too much fluoride.



 



Once your child begins using fluoridated toothpaste, allow only a pea-sized dab a day. This will provide the recommended daily dose of fluoride without risking overdose.

Laura - posted on 03/25/2009

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NOTE: Do not use regular toothpaste on babies! You can use flouride-free toothpaste specific for children once you start using a regular child-size brush. However, my dentist said you don't NEED to use toothpaste.



There are even "first toothbrushes" made by Oral B and others. They are softer and smaller than the regular child-sized toothbrush heads.



My dentist told me that she doesn't see children until they are age two. This is mainly because until that age, they won't sit still in the chair for an exam. At least when they are two, they understand directions well enough. In addition, they don't see the children until they get their molars.



However, I read on my own dentist's website that you can bring the child in as early as 6 months after the eruption of the first tooth. However, unless your child has some obvious problems with their teeth growing in, you don't need to bring your child in.



Just remember to brush after every meal, even if you are still using a washcloth or finger brush.

Vickie - posted on 03/25/2009

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from what ive read i think you just brush teeth same as you do adults, only smaller amount of toothpaste, if you look in supermarkets they do toothbrushes n toothpastes for babies usually called milk teeth toothpaste, you can also brush their gums , in same way , becos the toothbrushes are made for babies they wont harm babies gums, ask you r health visitor , they will usually give you a sample pack with toothbrush n toothpaste in it and has a sheet fully explainging all  about how to brush babies teeth , my daughters 13month now n she loves having her teeth brushed

Jennie-Lee - posted on 03/24/2009

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I brush my daughters teeth while she is in the bath so that it is easy to remember to do it every day. She has a little baby doll in the bath so she like to brush the dolls teeth while i brush hers.

Megan - posted on 03/16/2009

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I started out with using one of the finger things when he got his first teeth.  We now use a small baby toothbrush and I hold him in front of my mirror and talk to him about brusing my teeeth.  Sometimes he likes when I do it & sometimes he doesn't.  If he doesn't want them brushed , I will brush my teeth and he will then usually let me brush his.  Mine has 14 teeth now, so I've been trying to do a good job and brush them on a regular basis!  We don't use toothpaste though-it's really not needed at this age.

Tanya - posted on 03/15/2009

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I brush my daughter's teeth twice a day (and she only has 4 of them!) ... after breakfast and before bed at night. We use a child soft toothbrush with a very small amount of flouride toothpaste (as recommended by the dental hygenist). After I brush them, I give the toothbrush to her to play with for a bit - she loves the whole process!

Sam - posted on 03/15/2009

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I started introducing my 13 month old to having her teeth brushed once she had her first few teeth. She was about 6/7 months at the time. I have always used a very soft first stage tooth brush with a tiny amount of tooth gel which is specially formulated for babies from 6 months. If she was teething badly and her gums were very sore, I would sometimes skip the brushing. She now has 8 teeth and I brush them daily at bedtime although I am going to start doing it twice a day now.  I just sit her on my lap and gently go over her teeth. She usually bites down on it but will let me carry on a bit before biting down on the toothbrush again! I have found it helps to have two brushes, one to use and one for her to hold. I also had to do this for my eldest daughter when she was a toddler too.



 



As for babies seeing the dentist, it all depends on your own dentist. Mine will see them from 1 year now just for check ups. It is more to get them used to regular check ups for when they are older more than anything.

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