It’s never too early to teach your child about brushing. You can even start brushing your child’s gums long before any teeth pop through. This gets your child used to the feeling of the brushing and makes it easier to transition to brushing once he or she is old enough.
Though you don’t want to use any type of toothpaste, safe for kids or not, while your child is still nursing, you can create baby toothpaste once your child is old enough. These natural toothpastes are healthy and safe for little kids, and if your child is interested, making them together can be a fun activity for the family.
How Do You Make Baby Toothpaste?
One of the simplest recipes for homemade toothpaste requires:
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tspfine salt
- 1 drop spearmint or peppermint, or orange or lime pure essential oil
- Enough water to reach a paste-like texture
You’ll want to add flavor carefully and choose flavors that are more pleasing to children. A mild peppermint taste or citrus is likely your best option for a young child. Mix the ingredients together and store in a glass container with a lid.
Another toothpaste recipe is made from:
2tsp vegetable glycerin
4 Tbsp baking soda
1/2 tsp guar gum
8 Tbsp water
5 drops spearmint, peppermint, orange, or grapefruit pure essential oil
This toothpaste needs to be cooked, but it’s a great alternative to commercial pastes that contain animal byproducts. Mix all the ingredientstogetherin a pot, except for the essential oil, and cook over low heat for about four to six minutes while stirring.
The toothpaste is done when it reaches a paste type of texture. Allow it to cool off, then add essential oil, and keep in an airtight glass jar.
One of the best baby toothpaste recipes is made with coconut oil. Make it the following way:
- 6tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp hydrogen peroxide
- 2 Tbsp coconut oil (warm enough to be liquid, which means above 76 degrees F)
- Drops ofspearmint or peppermint, clove, or citrus pure essential oil
Mix the baking soda with all other ingredients, except the essential oil, and mix it until it becomes a paste. You can adjust the amount of baking soda if necessary. Once complete, adjust the level of flavor by adding the essential oil of your choice drop by drop.
Another great natural toothpaste recipe comes from Wellness Mama,and you can find it here.
Make Brushing Fun with Natural Dental Options
In addition to homemade toothpaste, there are plenty of other natural and fun things you can do to encourage kids to brush. Parents in dentist offices across the country and all over the internet regularly report struggling with toddlers and young children when it comes to dental health.
Some say their children lock their jaws and refuse to open their mouths, while other parents worry that the only way they’ll get their child to brush is by allowing them toeatthe toothpaste.
All the more reason to have a natural toothpaste made with healthy ingredients that could be edible if necessary.
Some parents find that making brushing a game also makes things easier. If your child has siblings, make brushing a contest. See who can brush for a longerperiod of time in one given session or challenge your children to meet their brushing obligations every day for a month and whoever succeeds gets a surprise.
You can also play these games if your child is an only child or your child’s sibling just isn’t into the idea of making brushing a game. Reward your child for his or her brushing accomplishments, and make sure your child knows you’re proud when the pre-set goals are met.
Another way to encourage your child to brush is to have him orher pick out the equipment and tools needed for dental health. You might be surprised at how much more willing a child is to brush his or her teeth with a brush chosen on their own at the store.
You might even consider offering the chance to pick two brushes and then letting your child choose between the two brushes each day. Make sure any brushes you choose are child-sized, so it’s easy for your little one to fit the brush in their mouth.
There are plenty of natural toothbrushes geared toward children and Earthturns offers many options.
Often, children that areare given some control over their situation and the ability to “choose their fate” do better with things that were once a challenge.
In addition to a great brush and toothpaste, think of other ways you can make brushing more fun. Character hand towels or a cup for rinsing can brighten a child’s morning and make preparing for bedtime much more pleasant for everyone in the house.
These things might seem small, but children take comfort in the little things and tend to want to do things without a fuss when they know they can have fun and that the activity is tailored to their liking.
Going to the Dentist
Another challenge faced by parents when it comes to maintaining their child’s dental health is trips to the dentist. Finding a dentist that makes your child comfortable can be a huge challenge. There are enough adults that fear the dentist that it should come as no surprise that babies and children are intimidated by the idea of visiting the dentist as well.
Nowadays, there are dental practices set up that cater to children. The offices are child-friendlyand the staff sometimes has special training that helps them deal with the normal anxiety and challenges of baby dental visits. This might not seem like it’s a big deal – after all, a dental visit is a dental visit.
To learn more about the benefits of visiting a child-friendly dentist or to find out what makes child-friendly dentists better for kids, check out this article from DentistryIQ.
The truth is, finding a dentist that puts you at ease is a huge part of maintaining good dental health. You know that when you’re at ease with a doctor the visit goes much better and you feel better overall about your experience.
Imagine these good feelings magnified in the eyes of a child. Children are usually far more sensitive than adults, so ensuring your child likes his or her dentist and hygienist, and that the response is positive during a visit, is a huge deal for setting the foundation for long-term dental health.