Seraph has a HUGE oral aversion. Yet, the dentist did quite well with her. He also taught me how to brush her teeth. I'd been doing it the hard way--lots of tears and wrestling.
This is how it should be done:
- Sit on the (comfortable) floor with baby between your legs. (Her head is closest to my tummy and her feet are stretched out towards my feet.)
- Baby's arms are under my legs (her arms are out like a T. her hands played with the outside seam on my jeans while I brushed her teeth.)
- Use a dab of floride toothpaste that's no bigger than a grain of rice. (Super important because teeth need the floride but if the baby swallows more than that much, baby can get a hurt tummy.)
- Brush front side of teeth.
- If baby won't open mouth, put your finger back BEHIND her molars. (Baby opens her mouth and you won't get bit!)
- Brush everywhere else
- Floss (you only need to floss between the teeth that are touching)
- Done - let baby play with toothbrush (I have a small cup of water that I dip the tooth brush in repeatedly and then baby sucks the water out of the toothbrush)
Seraph has crazy oral aversions, but she let me brush her teeth like this. She let me sit on her arms. She did NOT even try to turn her head away. She only cried when I was brushing the backside of her teeth and that part was over quickly. There was no fighting.
I cheated a bit - I turned on the overhead fan so she'd have something cool to look at besides her mama!
I brushed and flossed Angel's teeth using this same method. It worked like a charm. Fast and painless.
You should start brushing as soon as that first tooth pops through. (Some moms even wipe baby's gums with a damp washcloth). You should visit the dentist around 15 months (or when the first teeth have popped through). Remember, cavities are more expensive AND more painful than wellness visits. Root canals are expensive and painful!! Fillings have to be refilled. So, it's actually cheaper and easier to take care of your teeth and your kids' teeth before problems happen.
Visit the dentist every 6 months.