My seven-month-old son just cut his first two teeth. When do we start to brush them? Is two teeth enough to brush? Or should I wait until he has more? If so, how many more?
We started this as soon as he had a few teeth (round about 12 months in our sons case) and found it easier to make it fun,
Essentially one of either my wife and I clean our teeth with him, we clean his teeth then let him hold the brush and "attempt" to clean his own too (he hasn't quite got the hang of this bit at 16 months :) )
Once done we ask him to let us smell his breath, this is the bit he really likes as he breathes on our noses and we exclaim how nice it smells, in fact he insists everyone in the apartment smells his breath!
We started brushing our son's teeth once he got them out, although he was not into it the thought we had was getting him used to it early. Many things kids have can have sugar, or cause decay, so even with baby teeth you still want to have a clean mouth. Problem is whether or not your son will allow you to brush.
You should start brushing as soon as teeth appear. Allowing the child to play with the brush before teeth appear will help when you need to actually brush.
Use a special childs toothbrush. They have very soft bristles and tiny heads.
Use special childs toothpaste. This has less fluoride (you should use a fluoride toothpaste) and a gentle flavour. UK advice is to use a mint flavour to make changing to an adult toothpaste easier. (We only have mint over here; there's one "wintergreen" toothpaste, and some weird flavours for children, but there's no cinnamon.)
Start by using a smear of toothpaste until the child can learn to spit.
At nighttime you may want to encourage them to leave the toothpaste on the teeth, rather than rinsing.
Wiping the gums with a bit of gauze before teeth have even popped out is recommended by my hygienist because bacteria can build up on the gums. It also gets them used to the sensation of having something in their mouth right away making brushing easier later.
She says they make tools for this task, but they need disinfecting right away if you buy the tool.