June 26, 2013

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Baby to Brush Tips

Baby to Brush Tips

- Introduce the motion: When baby starts eating solid foods (around 6 months), purchase a "Soft Finger Toothbrush."  This toothbrush goes on mom or dad's finger and can be rubbed directly on baby's gums.  Make sure to brush with the soft finger toothbrush every night right after baby's last bottle or nursing session, so she gets used to it.  It also feels wonderful on baby's gums when teething.  
- Sing the ABC's: While brushing, make sure to brush during the entire chorus of the "ABC's," as this helps build up baby's brushing habits to the dentist-recommended one minute per arch.  Babies have short attention spans, so starting with the "ABC's" is a good way to get them used to longer brushing sessions.  It also helps them learn the most important song of their youth!

- Motivate them to brush: When baby turns one, her diet consists of mainly solid foods and an introduction to cow's milk.  It's now especially important to brush their teeth more than once a day to keep bacteria/germs at bay.  Babies have also started to master the "pincher grasp" and they want to hold things on their own, including food, sippy cups and, personal care items.  Let baby brush her own teeth by motivating her with a "flashy" device!  For only $2.99, the FireFly Ready Go Brush (www.fireflytoothbrush.com), has a light-up timer that mimics a traffic light.   Green for go, yellow for halfway done, and red for finished!  It’s so colorful and fun to use, that babies will want to brush, no nagging from parents required.  And as a bonus, it has a suction cup holder allowing it to be stored upright on the counter for less clutter and improves hygiene.  This ADA-approved toothbrush comes in a choice of characters – Barbie, Spider Man, Angry Birds or original FireFly. SRP $2.49 at Target, Kroger and Meijer stores. 

- Positive reinforcement: Cheer for baby when she brushes and let her know what a good job she is doing!  It will inspire her to want to brush longer and more frequently just to appease mom and dad.

- Brush with baby: Mom and Dad should have their own toothbrush handy so they can brush along with baby.  Babies love to mimic their parents and what better way then during brushing sessions!

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