Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Brushing Baby's Teeth

Seraph's trip to the dentist today went well.  She has NO cavities!  Her mouth is very dry (partly from her meds and partly because she doesn't eat much orally). The dark spot was just a spot!...and it's gone now. The yellow stains are gone, too. Her smile is back to normal :)

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:

  1. 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.)
  2. 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.)
  3. 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.)
  4. Brush front side of teeth.
  5. If baby won't open mouth, put your finger back BEHIND her molars. (Baby opens her mouth and you won't get bit!)
  6. Brush everywhere else
  7. Floss (you only need to floss between the teeth that are touching)
  8. 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.


Accustomed Chaos said...

Thanks for the info - you have good tips

Dropping in from SITS

Devan @ Accustomed Chaos

Alissa said...

Thanks! I was wondering how it should be done. My LO isn't quite there yet, but she will be shortly!

Leigh Russell said...

Sounds like your little one had fun with this. What a great mum you are!
I see you're also a fan of Jeffery Deaver. He "loved" my debut crime thriller and even took the time to write this aboout it: "Cut Short is a stylish, top-of-the-line crime tale, a seamless blending of psychological sophistication and gritty police procedure. And you're just plain going to love DI Geraldine Steel" Cut Short, the first in a series, has already sold out twice in the UK where it's been something of a runaway success - but it's still amazing to be praised by one of the greats!

cheyney webb said...

Who knew? Great advice. Thanks for sharing.

The Redhead Riter said...

No plaque is our motto.

The girl with the flour in her hair said...

Just wanted to stop by and thank you for coming by on my SITS day and following! I'm returning the favor!

Good tips! Teeth brushing is always a battle! And cute pictures!

Mamalissa said...

We generally don't have a battle over brushing but I did try this holding method to floss the babe's teeth. It worked great until he realized that he could swing his legs and kick me. Kids are smart that way. :)

RainSplats said...

If he kicks you, you're supposed to bend your knee and put the bottom part of your leg over his legs.

I sounds crazy....but I just brush quick and comfort her after. She doesn't like being held down, but does better if I immediately put the minty taste in her mouth so she's distracted from her confinement.


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