Give Kids A Smile® Starts with Infants and Toddlers

Easy Ways to Maintain Dental Health for Your Little One

What a messy face a baby has when they are done eating!

When you wash your baby’s face, why not clean their teeth before you take them out of the highchair?

Here’s how easy it is:

For demonstrational purposes only.

  • First, place a soft toothbrush on the highchair tray. Toothpaste is not necessary after mealtime; plain water will do. 
  • Stand behind your baby and tilt the head back onto you for support. 
  • Sing “the bristles on the brush go ‘round and ‘round” to the tune of “the wheels on the bus go ‘round and ‘round” as you brush those precious teeth.

And at night, try to clean baby’s teeth before bedtime. Below are a few suggestions on how to easily clean your baby’s mouth. Once again, simply using water is an easy option that works well. 

If you want to use toothpaste, most infant toothpastes are designed to be safe when swallowed in tiny amounts. Always ask your dental team for suggestions and look for the American Dental Association’s approval on toothpastes for your infant.

To make things easier when cleaning their teeth, wrap your baby in a soft blanket and lay the baby on a soft rug.  Kneel on the side, just above baby’s head and brush all surfaces of all teeth.

Another option is knee-to-knee, with two caregivers who sit facing each other. Your baby is relaxed, leaning back, with baby’s legs around the waist of one adult. That adult holds baby’s hands and speaks to the baby while looking directly at him or her. The second adult looks down into baby’s mouth, so that all teeth are visible so all surfaces can be brushed.

February is celebrated as “Give Kids A Smile Month.” The best way to start is with your darling baby. Sing a song to them about how important a healthy smile is and how much you appreciate their smiles.

Need some inspiration?

Check out https://www.highchairdentalcare.com/songs.

Pediatric dentist Winifred J. Booker DDS, FAAPD, a descendent of the Piscataway American Indian Tribe, is the creator of the Highchair Dental Care® Practice Model and the Brushtime Baby® diaper bag.

References and resources:

www.highchairdentalcare.com;
www.ada.com;
www.aapd.org;
www.agd.com;
www.mycohi.org;
www.aap.org;
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u9mNb3qOGrs;

Jessica A. Rickert, DDS, Anishinaabe Dental Outreach

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