Those newborn days now seem an eternity ago. Here months later, finally the days and nights aren’t blending together, nipples are no longer cracked, nappy usage has decreased and we’re all sleeping well. Now wave bye-byes to the progress, it’s time for teething!
Healthy Baby Gums
Proper dental care for babies is so very important to ensure good teeth and gum health and it begins early on, even before the first teeth have come through. You can gently clean your baby’s gums twice a day with a washed finger or clean wet face washer, this practice is also handy for teething times when bub’s gums are sore (you know when they try to bite off any body part you put near their mouth), the counter pressure will give them great relief.
What a milestone! It’s time to take a gazillion photos of that adorable, gnawing, little droolbag with the one pearly white fang, usually on the bottom gum. Babies are born with their set of 20 teeth ready to go in their gums and some are even born with one or two erupted, but most will teeth arrive anywhere between 6-10 months of age. That’s not to say that’s how long teething lasts for. Oh no, it’s a solid 2.5-3 years of that joy. Sorry. Some babies will be the exception to the rule and teeth come through without anyone even knowing. Not in this house.
What to Use
You can begin cleaning your baby’s teeth as soon as they arrive, as long as you only use a clean wet washer or a very soft baby toothbrush. Store the toothbrush upright like everyone else’s but try not to have them touching. Everyone should have their own toothbrush, babies included. It can be hard with small children who seem to delight in using every single toothbrush in the cup, even though they have four of their own, complete with flashy stars on them. Try to talk them into using only their own from early on, it can help reduce any decay-causing bacteria spreading from brush to brush.
Brushes should be replaced every 3-4 months.
What Not To Use
Never use toothpaste on a baby under 18 months old unless your dentist recommends it. Baby’s can be very alert and demanding to have whatever you have, so if toothpaste is one of those things, do the old pretend swipe across the toothpaste tube and run the brush under water. Then they’ll be just like Mum, Dad or copycatting big brother or sister.
From 18 months on, a low fluoride toothpaste is okay, just use a tiny blob on the brush.