Before the tooth sprout
I started cleaning my babies gums once he was like almost 1 month and his routine of massage and bath was set.Initially it was hit and miss attempts to make him open the mouth but I didn’t realise and slowly it was a habit he would open his mouth seeing the cloth and by the time he was almost four months he would try to suck the cloth and would try to bite my fingers.I use to do it once a day but if you have a sleep time routine you can add the wash cloth gum cleaning routine in the night as well.
Take a soft cotton wash cloth wash it properly and make sure you keep few wash clothes of same colour identified for gum cleaning only.Do not use any other cloth used for wiping face etc. The wash cloth should be exclusive and should be washed after every use. I use to keep the cloth in boiling water after washing it.
Wet the wash cloth with luke warm water,wrap it around your fore finger and middle finger and tap on babies chin before inserting inside his mouth. Tapping the chin will be sign for baby to open his mouth once he is use to it.Try to rub as gently as possible.
Once the tooth sprout
Once the first tooth sprout there is no hurry to introduce the real brush as yet.I used the finger brush like this
Till the time my baby had his lower two and upper two. I honestly was in no hurry to introduce the tooth paste as my baby majorly fed on breast milk.Even though they feed on solid try to post pone the tooth paste till their first birth day.
Introducing tooth paste and the real brush
Now that the four are out and many are in the process we have finally introduced the real thing.While choosing the tooth paste just ensure the tooth paste is a flouride tooth paste.Although there is no harm if swallowed but take a tiny amount may be less than 1/4th of the amount an adult would take.
Brushing will not come easily with babies as they are teething and the first thing they would do is snatch the brush and chew it. Let them be, it should be fun more than a boring routine.Let them play and familiarise with the brush.
This is the time when you can teach them how to brush by a little play. Let him think it as a play time just like his bath time.Teach him to spit the tooth paste by showing him how to.I try to remove the tooth paste by swiping the brush out while brushing.
P.s If your baby is teething try the wash cloth massage 3-4 times a day at any age the baby will be relived from the pain and will be less cranky.