Just when you thought  teething was your biggest dental related problem- you realise that you have to brush the little pegs that come through too. 

Parenting on Female First

Parenting on Female First

When your little one is suffering from gum pain, it can be a challenge to get them to agree to put something in their mouth. With that said, almost 9 out of 10 hospital tooth extractions among children aged 0 to 5 years are due to preventable tooth decay, so it's important to start as soon as the first tooth comes through. 

The sooner they get used to the sensation the better, so here are my top suggestions for keeping them calm while you brush. 

Familiarity: A great place to start is getting them accustomed to the brush- let them hold it and play around with it in their mouth. As they bite down on the bristles, this will not only help to clean their mouth but also help with any pain they might have. 

Distractions: Giving them a small toy or book can work wonders in keeping them distracted while you brush their teeth. It takes their mind off what is happening, especially if it’s one of their favourite things to play with. 

Team up: It can be difficult to brush a baby’s teeth when you are on your own so try and get your partner on board too. One of you can sing songs, pull funny faces and keep them entertained with peek-a-boos until the other has got access to their mouth. Bonus points for if you get them to smile as it makes it easier to get the brush in there! 

Give them a toothbrush too: Give your little one your toothbrush and let them brush your teeth while you do theirs. They are more inclined to open up if they see it as a group activity. Your partner can stand in the background and pretend to brush their teeth too. The more- the merrier. Make it into a game and you will get a positive outcome. 

Bathtime: You could give your baby their toothbrush with paste on it in the bath, so if they cause a bit of a mess, you can easily wipe down their cheeks with water. Plus it helps them to associate bathtime with teeth cleaning so they come to expect it. Babies and toddlers are responsive to routines so stick to this one every night and they’ll realise it’s nothing to fear. 

Praise: Every time your baby or toddler does the right action with the brush, give them plenty of praise so they know when they are doing it correctly. Little people love positive reinforcement so cheer them on as much as you can. 

Set a good example: If you brush your teeth at the same time as your baby or toddler, they will take your lead and do the same once their confidence grows. Children copy much more than we realise so it’s important that we set good standards early on for oral hygiene. 

by for www.femalefirst.co.uk
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