Even before my son started showing his first tooth at 7 months, I had him use an infant oral brush to take care of his gums. Prior to that, I used to wipe off milk off his mouth and gums with a wet washcloth. It will not just eliminate decay causing bacteria but will also prepare his mouth for the later introduction of toothbrush. I have seen far too plenty of kids all over who have dental caries and end up losing majority of the teeth they have even before they are ready to fall off and have their permanent teeth. I knew from the beginning that I am not going to allow that to happen to my son. This is why I think it is very important that we encourage our children the habits that they form from the beginning.
Our son when he was 9 months old. It took me a while before I found this shot. It was in the Feb 2006 folder. I am really thankful I got all the photos listed by month/year album. 🙂 Infant oral toothbrushes usually have this stopper that prevents babies getting the brush all the way down their throats.
Now I wish we had a better photo of the two of us brushing. Both pictures where taken using my former SE S700i. Pretty lame and grainy shots, but still serve memories to us. 🙂 It helps as well for children to see that brushing is one of the regular things people do. We often brushed our teeth together when he was yet starting.
Now our son is 4 years old and I remember as early as he was 2 years old or even before that, I never needed to force brushing his teeth on him. It was never an issue. As uncomfortable and unfamiliar it was for him to brush and stick something in his mouth at first (has to be under supervision at all times), he has to get used to it. Kids have such fresh minds open to new learning, all we really have to do is encourage. This is why I believe there is no excuse for parents to say that their kids were never into brushing their teeth. I introduced him to his dentist who he fondly calls “Tita Ganda” when he turned 2. It helped as well that the lady dentist we got was as good as a southpark dentist.
More than the need to get his gums cleaned, I introduced the infant toothbrush (which I think isn’t really a toothbrush- because it’s for the gums) to him for the purpose of him getting used to it and the infant tooth gel that is safe to be swallowed. I have to admit that aside from his benefit, it will be for my convenience too. I honestly believe that parenting shouldn’t be as complicated as other people make it sound to be. We just need to be responsible even in things as trivial as this. Truth be told, nothing is trivial when it comes to parenting. I happen to believe that it is one of the most important things in the world. The baby we take care of is a person who is going to have a say one day and the way we raise him up will have a great impact on the kind of human being he will turn out to be. Unless we would rather have our children suffer dental caries all their lives, it makes sense that we have them form good oral habits because it is something that he has to do for a lifetime. 🙂