Whatever happens with your baby is quite exciting. Although you should be a full grown up human with perfect functioning organs, with hair on your head, teeth in your mouth and abilities of talking and going to the toilette, you won’t be able to prevent yourself from screaming out: Oh, he is having his first tooth! Such cute hair coming out from the cutest baby ever, Bravooo! You peed all on your own!, and the list goes on and on. Your baby’s life is a sure great thing to observe, in fact, from the day it is conceived in his mother’s womb.
Baby’s first teeth, in particular, are so charming an event. Brushing your baby’s teeth is the first step towards his overall future oral hygiene. The eruption of teeth usually coincides with giving your baby solid foods. His teeth, therefore, are in constant contact with foods. Such environment makes his milky teeth prone to decaying if not properly taken care of. Brushing your baby’s teeth can be quite peculiar to you. We shall make it simple as should be.
Recommendations for best baby toothbrush in UK
Baby’s teeth anatomy
Did you know that teeth start developing in the foetus? They certainly do. Teeth are parts of the bones that develop inside the womb. That’s why good nutrition from the mother during pregnancy is important in the development of the teeth. Calcium, phosphorus, vitamin C, and vitamin D are amongst the most important things that a pregnant woman’s diet should contain.
The development of baby’s teeth
With varying times and according to each baby’s readiness, his teeth develop until they reach their mature non-changeable state. There are 4 main stages of development of the tooth:
- When the foetus is 6 weeks of age: The basic substance of the tooth forms.
- 3 to 4 months of gestation: The hard tissue that surrounds the teeth is formed.
- After the child is born: The tooth actually protrudes through the gum.
- At the age of 5 years: The loss of the primary “baby” teeth occurs.
Each baby’s teething process steers towards having 20 primary, or milky, teeth. The first teeth to erupt are the lower and upper incisors. About one tooth comes out per month. Moreover, baby’s teeth usually have gaps in between; leaving room for the larger permanent teeth to erupt.
Parts of the tooth
A tooth has basic parts, even the permanent teeth have the same parts. The four main parts are as follows:
- Enamel: This is the outer layer of the tooth and the hardest material in the body.
- Dentin: The inner layer and the main part of the tooth, forming the largest dental tissue.
- Pulp: The is the soft tissue on the inside of the tooth that contains the nerve, blood supply and the ability to produce dentin.
- Root: It is the part of the tooth that secures it into the jaw.
Be ware of sugar
Sugar is a creepy monster that, amongst its many harmful impacts, causes tooth decay. Speaking specially about teeth, this is not about the amount of sugar you give to your baby, but rather about how long and how often your baby’s teeth come in contact with sugar.
Nothing is easier than soothing your baby with a lollipop or sweet drink in a bottle. His giggles are charming indeed. But, be ware that such items shower your baby’s teeth in sugar for a long period of time, let alone the harmful impact of acids that are found in fruit juice.
You can go for whole fruits and milk, as they contain natural sugar that is less likely to cause tooth decay.
Ways to cut down sugar
We shall offer you some tips to eliminate sugar from your child’s diet and protect his teeth. Consider the following:
- Give your baby milk and water instead of sugar-sweetened drinks
- Use bottles for pumped breast milk, formula milk, or cooled boiled water, NOT for juices or sugary drinks
- Offer your baby drinks in a usual cup at the age of 6 months
- Encourage savory food and drinks with no sugar. Read the labels of your store-bought baby food. Sometimes sugar is in rusks and baby drinks.
- Offer sweet food and drinks at mealtimes only. Dilute one part juice to 10 parts water.
- No biscuits or sweets, demand your family and friends to do the same.
- Offer your child at bed time any of these: breast milk, formula or cooled boiled water.
- Always opt for sugar-free medications, if possible.
How to choose the best baby toothbrush
A piece of clean gauze can do the job for you at the beginning. You can simply apply a tiny plop of toothpaste on it and rub your baby’s teeth.
However, you will have to alter to using a toothbrush for more efficient cleaning. This will make it easier to reach all parts of your baby’s teeth. It shall also instill the habit of brushing the teeth in his mind. You can choose from: attractive infant toothbrushes, finger baby toothbrushes or electric baby toothbrushes. Be ready to upgrade to a toddler toothbrush once your kid is ready to take in the responsibility.
Guidelines for the best toothbrush
- Safe: Choose a safe toothbrush that gives no space for suffocation along with a safe baby toothpaste
- Attractive: Make it fun. Pick a toothbrush that will dazzle your kid and encourage him to brush. You can focus on his favorite colors.
- Easy: If your kid is keen on doing things himself, choose a toothbrush with a subtle easy hand grip.
- Gentle: Baby’s teeth are still soft, that is why you have to make sure the bristles are gentle on his teeth.
* Make sure you replace your baby’s toothbrush regularly. If the bristles start to spread out, it’s a sign that the toothbrush needs changing.
How to brush your baby’s teeth
Incorporate teeth brushing into your daily routine twice, preferably in the morning and before bed (after the last drink). Although everyone has his own personal way to make his baby brush, you can ease the process off by sitting your baby in your lap with his face away from you. This will make you reach his teeth easily. Brush his teeth in circular gentle movement; focusing on the area where the gum and teeth meet.
If your baby runs away from brushing, it is a good idea to give him a go. Give him his own toothbrush to hold. It is good to feel in control and responsible; with gentle guidance from you. It is also good to brush your teeth in front of your baby
Make sure your baby spits out the remaining toothpaste. However, leaving the residue of the toothpaste to work on your baby’s teeth makes it more functional. Therefore, don’t rinse his mouth with water.
Easy 1, 2, 3 steps for brushing
- A tiny smear of toothpaste will do the trick
- Cover all the surface of your baby’s teeth
- Do it twice a day
- Keep trying even if your child does not accept it
- Use the above explained technique (with your baby sitting in your lap)
- Brush in circular very gentle moves
- Supervise the process until your child can handle it thoroughly
When to brush
As soon as you see your baby’s first tooth, you need to consider brushing it amongst your daily chores. It does not matter if you don’t brush much at first. You only need to focus on getting your baby used to brushing their teeth as part of their daily routine. Set a good example and show him how you care about your own teeth.
Teething can be harsh. At any time between 3 months to 12 months, expect a tooth to erupt through the gums of your baby. At the age of 3 years old, 20 primary teeth should sit firmly in your baby’s gum. The lower front teeth usually come in first. Upper front teeth usually come in 1 to 2 months after the lower front teeth.
You shall be alarmed though way before the first tooth erupts. Some babies get fussy and cranky while teething. This bad mood is usually the cause of soreness and swelling in the gums. Such symptoms disappear right after the tooth breaks the skin. However, some babies are not at all affected by teething.
Biting their fingers or toys and/or refusing to eat and drink are the first signs that tell you your baby is teething. Excessive drool, that might cause a rash on the chin, face or chest is another sign to look for when your baby is teething.
You can always help soothe those symptoms and try to relieve your baby by:
- Rub your baby’s gum for about 2 minutes with your clean finger or a cold teething ring. Even when your baby protests in the beginning, he shall find this to be very soothing.
- Get safe objects for your baby to chew on
- When necessary, use an over-the-counter pain reliever that is labeled for your baby’s specific age
The most common symptoms of teething include:
- Swelling, tenderness, or discomfort in the gums
- Overzealous saliva, which can cause drooling
- Biting on the fingers or toys
- Less appetite to eat and drink because of mouth soreness
- Irritability and difficulty sleeping.
Teething is an important milestone in your child’s life. It means he is having his first adult-like resemblance. A life of solid foods, nutritious choices and food negotiations is to follow.
As this process, when your child is having his first primary teeth, takes place, you need to be mindful about its symptoms. Most babies get their first tooth between 6 to 10 months of age, finally having their 20 milky teeth set by the age of 3 years. While each child is different as to when his first tooth erupts, each child is affected by teething in a different way. From sever soreness to mild fussiness to nothing at all, such symptoms occur about 3 to 5 days before a tooth breaks the skin and can be present for up to 1 or 2 months.
Teething comes hand in hand with the time you start introducing foods other than breast milk to your baby. This means that first teeth get a first hand experience of bacteria that causes decay. Shielding your baby against such bacteria and possible hazard is rather simple but needs to follow a robust technique.
Healthy food is your first important haven. Give your child nutritious foods that will strengthen his body and health. Be careful about your choices and make sure you choose foods that reduce the risk of tooth decay. Those foods include whole grains, vegetables, and fruits. You can also introduce Mozzarella and other cheeses, yogurt, and milk as delicious snacks as they are good for the teeth and clear the mouth from harmful sugars; protecting teeth against plaque. By all means, do not allow for a prolonged contact with any sugar intake. It is a good idea to take the bottle from your baby’s mouth before he falls asleep. This helps avoiding bacterial acids that cause tooth decay in the mouth.
Brushing is a chore now, no matter how small the tooth might look. You have to teach your child to brush and floss everyday. When you see this little white pearl coming, be prepared with a good toothbrush and incorporate its use into your routine. Very gently, apply a tiny amount of child suitable toothpaste and rub it against your child’s tooth in circular soft motion.
If your baby is reluctant at the beginning, turn it into a game. This works as magic with babies. Pick a toothbrush that is attractive and easy to handle. Let him hold it. Show him how to use it. Have him in your lap with face facing out, and start brushing his teeth.
It is a good idea to take good care of your teeth for multiple reasons. On the first hand, you set a good model for your child. On the other hand, you keep your teeth and mouth healthy and void of the saliva that contains harmful bacteria; thus being less likely able to transfer these bacteria that cause tooth decay to your baby. Don’t share spoons and utensils with your baby for the same reason.
Keeping the health and cleanness of your child is a very important issue. It takes effort and planning. Sometimes it takes tweaking and playing to instill the habits you want in him. Brushing with a good toothbrush is a very important habit that needs to accompany your child from the moment he has his first tooth. It is the habit that shall prevent grave issues from popping up in his toddler years and pave the way for healthier adult years to come.