Have you recently noticed that your baby is constantly drooling or is trying to put everything in their mouth? Well, it’s time for the big moment – their first tooth is on its way. But, before we get there, it is crucial to address that oral hygiene begins much earlier than the arrival of your baby’s first tooth. So, you must have the right gear, techniques and a plan to imbibe the right oral hygiene routine in your little one.
But, how do you ensure to provide the right care for your baby? Well, we’re here to take you through a step-by-step guide that will help you get started:
Oral hygiene from birth to 6 months of age
We cannot stress enough the importance of imbibing healthy oral habits right from birth. It helps ensure healthy teeth and eventually a healthy life. It is essential to clean your infant’s gums after feeding. Use a clean and soft moistened cloth or use hygienic and gentle baby dental wipes to massage the gums. We recommend the latter as each wipe is sanitised and made well just for your baby. Avoid putting your infant to sleep with a bottle or prop in their mouth. It may increase the chances of bacteria in their mouth.
An infant begins teething between four and six months. They may seem more irritable and crankier due to the pain. To calm them, use a cool teething ring as it helps to soothe the pain.
Quick tip: Avoid tasting bottles with your mouth or sharing utensils with your little one. Dental decay is transmissible, but preventable.
Oral hygiene from 6-12 months of age
Most babies get their first tooth anytime between six to eight months of age. It is the most crucial time for any parent to ensure their baby’s teeth are healthy and free of cavities. A good practice to follow is to massage your baby’s gums after feeding them. Once a tooth grows out, use a soft-bristled brush to clean it without any toothpaste.
It is essential to keep checking how your baby’s teeth grow. Regularly check their gums and teeth for any white or black spots that may indicate a cavity or decay. In case you see any abnormalities, visit a dentist.
Oral care for 12 to 18 months of age
In these formative months, we recommend visiting a dentist at least once for an oral checkup. They will help you identify any abnormalities and provide you with additional tips suited for your child. It is still too early to introduce your baby to toothpaste. That is why we recommend you continue massaging your baby’s gums and use a soft-bristled toothbrush to clean their teeth twice a day with water. These are preventive measures that can help ensure oral health.
Pay attention to their diet
Pay close attention to your baby’s diet too. The food they consume influences their oral health. You may have to take extra measures, frequent gum massage or brushing to ensure they do not sleep with any food particles in their mouth. If you wish to introduce your toddler to using toothpaste, then it is ideal to choose one that is fluoride-free.
Check their sleep cycle
Dr Shifa, a renowned pediatric dentist and an expert in myofunctional therapy in dentistry says that it is crucial to monitor a child’s sleep. A good sleep cycle helps improve child growth and influences how the teeth grow. Children who sleep with their mouth open or do not sleep well have a higher chance of incurring cavities, crooked teeth and other dental issues.
Oral care for 18 months to five years of age
As your baby grows older, you will have to pay closer attention to their oral hygiene. By 30 months, they would ideally have all their milk teeth. By the time your baby is around two-years-old, you can introduce them to using a brush with a pea-sized amount of toothpaste. It is essential to introduce them to several movements and massages to help them clean their teeth. You can also consider myofunctional therapy to help prevent crooked teeth. Inculcating a habit of massaging the gums helps ensure healthy teeth.
Choosing fluoride or fluoride-free toothpaste
Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that helps kill bacteria and prevent tooth decay. Small amounts of it are present in toothpaste. If your baby or toddler swallows a large chunk of it, it may upset their stomach. Hence, we advise choosing a fluoride-free toothpaste till your child is at least two-years-old. Additionally, using fluoride-free toothpaste will be enough to protect your toddler’s teeth from dental fluorosis or discoloration of the teeth.
Around 30 months, a child learns to spit and brush. You can then make the switch to using fluoride toothpaste. It is essential at this stage, as the child now begins to consume solid food and change their diet. Their teeth now require heavy cleaning and choosing a toothpaste that contains fluoride is necessary.
You can choose from a range of toothpaste from our store.
Imbibing the habit of oral hygiene at an early age helps your child have healthy teeth and gums. It’s essential to ensure that their mouth is cleaned after every meal or feeding to prevent bacteria from growing. As a parent, being mindful of the products you choose for your child’s oral care can make a huge difference.