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When to Start Caring for Your Little Ones Teeth?
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A guide to keeping your tot’s teeth healthy.
Caring for your little one’s oral health is a very important part of a healthy daily routine that starts much earlier than you may think. Some of the many reasons your child’s dental hygiene is incredibly important is because; it helps the development of their chewing and speech, can affect their teeth health when they grow up and the mouth is a direct gateway to the gut and the rest of the body. We know there are so many lessons we need to teach our tot’s in life, so at Grin Natural, we want to make this part easy for everyone. We have created a kid’s 1,2,3 range that is safe and effective with 100% natural toothpaste formulations designed to protect and care for little mouths, but also help kids enjoy brushing time and establish healthy grins that last a lifetime.
Let’s answer some common questions parents might have about looking after their children’s new chompers;
Why is caring for primary (baby) teeth so important?
Baby teeth are critical to your child’s health and development. They help babies and toddlers articulate sounds and words so they can speak clearly and communicate verbally. Baby teeth also allow babies and toddlers to eat a wide variety of foods and develop healthy jaw muscles. Lastly, baby teeth act as space savers for permanent teeth and prevent teeth from drifting into improper places.
What is the easiest way to brush my child’s teeth?
You may begin to notice the appearance of the first tooth when your baby is around 6 months old. Once the tooth starts to come in, brush twice each day with a tiny rice-sized smear of toothpaste on either a finger brush (up to 18 months old) or a small extra soft toothbrush (like the Grin Kids Bio Toothbrush).
For small babies, lay them down in a comfortable position. Support your baby’s head while using one hand to lift the lips and cheeks out of the way and the other hand to brush the baby’s teeth.
For older children, let them face a mirror with you standing behind them, using one hand to gently support their chin and the other hand to help them brush. This can help both you and your child to see clearly in the mirror while brushing.
Brushing battles have started, what do I do?
Once your child reaches age 2 to 3, you might start to notice brushing battles more
frequently. Simply put, your child has learned that refusing to brush their teeth is a great way to assert their independence! Encouraging brushing through reward systems like the Grin Kids Brushing Chart can help your child track their progress. Brush your child’s teeth twice per day with a pea-sized blob of toothpaste and use floss in areas where teeth touch.
How can I prevent tooth decay in my baby?
Tooth decay is a common occurrence in children which can lead to pain and infection, as well as further issues later on in their lives. Fortunately, it only takes a few simple steps to prevent tooth decay from affecting your baby.
Although it's a debated topic, it is widely recommended that you use fluoride toothpaste for your baby, this is because fluoride works to strengthen teeth and reduce decay. As young children often have difficulty spitting properly, it's important to minimise the amount of fluoride given as it can be harmful if swallowed in large quantities. Please note that fluoride dosages and age recommendations vary between countries. For the US, it's recommended that children younger than 3 years use no more than a smear (or the size of a grain of rice) of fluoride. For children 3 to 6 years of age, they should have no more than a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste. Some parents may choose fluoride-free toothpastes, like the Grin Fluoride-Free Natural Toothpaste which includes safe and effective ingredients that fight against cavity-causing bacteria. Other measures you can take are taking your child to your local dental clinic and getting regular check-ups (every 6 months). While at home, be sure to gently lift your baby’s top lip once a month to check for tooth decay inside their mouth.
Your baby may be ready to start solids around the time their first tooth comes in as well. If this is the case, choose healthy and tooth-friendly food for your child. Avoid giving them sugary and sticky food which increases the chances of tooth decay.
How do I choose the right toothpaste for my child?
Choose a toothpaste that contains ingredients that help prevent cavities. If you’re avoiding fluoride, natural ingredients including Hydroxyapatite and xylitol are helpful in preventing cavities and are safe to swallow.
Make sure to watch out for common nasties that can have negative side effects. Avoid sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), which has been linked to allergies, mouth sores, dry mouth and sensitivity. Artificial sweeteners are also best to avoid as they increase a child’s appetite for sweet cavity-causing foods.
Lastly, choose a toothpaste with healthy, natural ingredients. Manuka Oil and Aloe help to sooth gums and manage discomfort from teething, and Calendula and Propolis have been shown to reduce cavity-causing bacteria.
Do I need to floss my child’s teeth?
Once two teeth are starting to touch, the bristles of a toothbrush cannot reach into the area between the teeth, this is when you should start flossing. Flossing is necessary to remove plaque that builds up between teeth. When this plaque is not regularly removed from the teeth, it can lead to cavities and gum disease.
Which floss you use depends on your child’s and family's preferences. Traditional string floss can be very effective at removing plaque but is trickier to use on a wriggly child. Grin’s Biodegradable Floss picks might be a better option for easy flossing.
When should I take my child to the dentist?
Your baby should have their first dental visit within six months of their first tooth erupting or by their first birthday, whichever comes first.
To make this experience easier for your baby you can;
- Consider visiting a paediatric friendly dentist.
- Read dental-themed books and role play activities to familiarise your child with what to expect during a dental visit.
- Bring a comfort item from home.
- Set a good example by role-modelling a positive attitude about visiting the dentist.
Dental health is so important for your child and establishing a good routine from a young age will help promote good habits as they grow older. Brushing your baby’s teeth together not only protects their adorable smiles, but it can also be a fun and enjoyable bonding experience.
Grin Natural strives to provide all natural, eco-friendly oral care for happy, healthy families.