It took two and a half years (and a yummy strawberry toothpaste) for Monkey to decide that having his teeth brushed isn’t actually that bad. I was so hoping that when we had another baby, we would avoid the teeth-cleaning battles that we had with the first – however, this wasn’t to be.
His little brother has only had teeth for just less than two months, and it already looks like it’s going to be a long battle ahead.
As an attached, gentle parent, I don’t like to have to force my kids to do anything. However, no amount of silly faces, songs, games or downright trickery have worked to allow me to brush Squishy-Man’s teeth properly. I always had to resort to doing it The Hard Way, having to hold his hands down and quickly scrub while he screamed the house down. This broke my heart, but I had to reason with myself that the trauma of having one’s teeth brushed twice per day was the lesser of two evils – the worse being subjected to dental work thanks to cavities caused by poor oral hygiene.
That was until we found the Brush Baby toothbrush.
When I spotted it in the baby section of our local Waitrose, I couldn’t help but snap it up. At £4.99 it seemed expensive for what is essentially a piece of silicone but it turned out to be worth every penny (by the way, they’re also available at boots.com, sainsburys.co.uk, johnlewis.com and jojomamanbebe.co.uk) . The packaging says it’s suitable from 10 months old, but I personally can’t see a reason why a younger baby couldn’t use it – at 7 months old Squishy has no problem with it.
The idea is very simple, and incredibly effective. The Brush Baby toothbrush is a shaped piece of safe, BPA-free silicone. At one end is a chompable part with little silicone bristles that scrub the teeth and massage the gums. It is the perfect size for little hands, and the design encourages them to hold the right end – or more importantly, to put the right end in their mouth!
I didn’t think my smart little baby would fall for something as simple as the Brush Baby but my God it works. He loves it. In the morning and evening I wet it, smear on some toothpaste on either side of the bristly part and hand it over to him, and he does the rest! Sure, he loses interest and drops it every now and then but he chomps it enough to give those little teeth a scrubbing (providing I keep passing it back to him). It’s also a wonderful teether to use between teeth-cleanings, too – we just pop it in the fridge for a little while first before giving it to him, minus toothpaste.
I have to admit, although the British Dental Association recommends the Brush Baby toothbrush, I worry that his pearly whites aren’t getting an adequate scrub each time. Indeed, the company who makes them recommend using the Brush Baby toothbrush in addition to brushing with a proper toothbrush twice per day. However, since we’ve been using the Brush Baby instead of resorting to pinning him, he has actually let me in there with a regular toothbrush a couple of times. This, for me, is the very best thing about the Brush Baby – it’s put a stop to a God-awful routine that could have laid the foundation for lifelong battles over teeth-cleaning.
I’m so glad we found the Brush Baby and can highly recommend it to anybody who has a spirited, strong-willed, toothbrush-hating baby like Squishy!
EDITED TO ADD: It has been brought to my attention that the Brush Baby is not available in the US. I did a little searching and discovered this alternative, the Baby Buddy Baby’s 1st Toothbrush, which looks exactly the same. Click here to take a look!