Somewhere between months six and 10, you can expect to see baby’s first tooth start to poke through those tiny gums. A great way to celebrate this major milestone? By getting a baby toothbrush! That brand-new baby tooth can be cleaned right from the get-go, since it’s susceptible to tooth decay. Plus, by getting baby used to the routine early on, you might have less trouble getting your kid to independently brush once the toddler and preschool years roll around.
When it comes to selecting a baby or toddler toothbrush, there are a few different kinds to choose from:
• A baby gum brush cleans an infant’s gums before or as the first teeth emerge. Many gum brushes can fit on your finger like a thimble, while others come in wipe form that you can wrap around your finger. You don’t necessarily need toothpaste with either of these, since the wiping action will handle the cleaning. Plus, gum brushes work best in mouths that are less toothy and more gummy.
• A teether toothbrush is a nubby teether that, in addition to relieving gum pain, cleans baby’s mouth. You don’t need toothpaste for this either, since baby’s chewing scrapes and cleans the teeth on its own.
• A first baby toothbrush is a tiny brush with soft bristles. Use it with a dab of fluoride-free toothpaste.
• A baby or toddler electric toothbrush is a pretty new concept, but it does exist! Like adult electric toothbrushes, they can do a lot of the scrubbing work for you. Add a bit of baby toothpaste and wave the brush across baby’s teeth and gums while it whirs.
• A toddler toothbrush is built for independent tots to hold and power themselves. You may need to offer some lessons (and lots of cheerleading), but the payoff are easy-breezy dental visits. Use fluoride-free toothpaste until age 3 unless your child’s dentist suggests otherwise.
When choosing a toothbrush, pay attention to the age-grading to find a brush that’s best suited to your child’s needs. Not sure where to start? Sink your teeth into this list of best baby and toddler toothbrush options out there.
Dr. Brown’s Tooth & Gum Wipes
Safe even for newborns, these wipes have a naturally derived fruit taste, which helps win babies over and leave their mouths smelling sweet. (Think babies can’t have bad breath? Moms of infants with bad reflux may beg to differ.) Wiping baby’s mouth gets riskier once your kiddo sprouts upper and lower teeth and has an impulse to bite down, but these are a great option for the months when she’s mostly gummy.
Buy it: For 0 months+, $8 for 30, Amazon.com
Grins & Giggles Infant 3-Sided Fingerbrush Set
To scrub your little one’s gums and new teeth, wear this baby toothbrush over the top of your index finger and use it with a dab of toothpaste, included. A channel of…