February is National Children’s Dental Health Month, so I thought I’d share a post on this topic! Good oral hygiene is so important to me, and I want to be sure my daughter realizes how important it is to take good care of her mouth and teeth! After talking to my dentist, here are some tips for starting your baby out on the right track to good oral hygiene. My daughter is 9 months, and we’ve started practicing all of these things!
*note: I am not a doctor, dentist, or dental hygienist. I just love my daughter and love her teeth.
Here are my 5 tips for starting to practice good oral hygiene with your infant:
1. Start early
Buy an infant toothbrush and start putting it in your baby’s mouth early, when she begins teething. Massage her gums. It will feel really good, and get her used to having something in there. I hold my daughter on my lap, and put her toothbrush in. These are some of our favorites; we have and love this, this and this!
2. Start small
Don’t expect to have the starter brush in her mouth for 2 minutes! Just do it for a few seconds, and work up to doing it longer so she gets used to it. My daughter is 9 months, and now opens her mouth when she sees me bring out the brush! She knows it won’t hurt, and knows it won’t be in her mouth forever!
3. Make it a routine
Build it into your morning and nightly routine. Before bed, we usually do a bath, a bottle and book, and brush teeth!
4. Make an appointment at your pediatric dentist
Once your baby has teeth, consider making an appointment at a local pediatric dentistry practice. My daughter will be going in around the time she’s a year old. I thought that would be a good time, because even though the dentist usually won’t actually clean teeth before age 3, going in will get her used to the idea. I’m a huge believer in having a pediatric dentist as well; I went to one when I was little, and I LOVED it! The dentist I went to had an office totally dedicated to kids. There were cartoons on the walls, everyone would dress super fun and colorful (and they were so nice!); they asked what flavor toothpaste I wanted, and would play cartoons on TVs throughout the office. They also had a HUGE toy box, and at the end of your appointment, kids could pick out a toy while mom and dad talked to the doctor about their teeth. It was a wonderful experience, and because of this, I want to find a really great pediatric dentist nearby that will provide the same fun office visit that I had growing up!
5. Make it a priority
If you don’t take it seriously, your kiddo won’t either!! So make it fun, make it routine, and make it a priority to have great dental hygiene!
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