Habits are, in my opinion, the key to health (and life). I wish I could say I like habits because of health alone, but in truth, I like an easy life. Babies don't make your life easy, but habits will help. Once their first tooth starts to come through, you need to start brushing them twice a day. So here are some habit hacks to help you and your baby create habits with toothbrushing that will make your life a bit easier.
Stacking relieves you of the *need to remember*. The idea is you add the new habit to an existing well-cemented habit. A good example would be if you wanted to take a vitamin tablet every day but you keep forgetting; put the pot next to the kettle so when you make your morning coffee, you are prompted to take your vitamin.
By adding toothbrushing to bathtime (or any part of your daily routine), children will automatically link the two, this also will ultimately result in them resisting this routine less as they predict it will happen.
Make sure you add the new habit to one that is easy, and you reliably do each day.
2. Mini- habits
You wouldn’t run a 26.2miles on day one of training for a marathon. If you want to meditate but 10 minutes seems too much, start with 1 minute and build the habit (then you can work on the length/technique as the habit gains momentum).
When brushing your children's teeth, just start off doing what you can manage building towards a more thorough brush. If you are getting a toothbrush in their mouth twice a day, you are winning!
3. Lead by example
Most babies will mimic what you are doing as a parent. You can try brushing at the same time as them, to demonstrate and inspire them.
Children, and babies like structure and routine. This is great news for teeth because consistency with oral hygiene will result in a very healthy mouth.
Your routines will inevitably change as they grow and their needs change, which of course is fine, but when you find a routine that works for you try to stick to it.
(now for the technical bits)
For children up to 3 years old;
- As soon as teeth erupt in the mouth brush them twice daily with a fluoridated toothpaste.
- Brush last thing at night and on one other occasion.
- Use fluoridated toothpaste containing no less than 1,000 ppm fluoride, we, of course, love the brush baby applemint toothpaste that we send in our baby Habox.
- Use a flat smear of toothpaste. This is really difficult because the adverts make it look like you should put toothpaste along the whole brush, it really is a flat smear of toothpaste on the very tip of the brush.