Baby oral care products: Few things bring new parents as much joy as the smile on their little one’s faces. That cute toothless grin makes all the sleepless nights and non-stop feeding completely worth it! We want our munchkin’s smiles to stay just as innocent and beautiful always, which is why it is important to focus on the baby’s oral care right from the start. And no, you don’t need to wait for those first teeth to sprout first!
In fact, babies are born with teeth – they have a full set of 20 teeth hidden inside their gums. On rare occasions, babies may be born with a tooth or two, called natal teeth. The first tooth generally sprouts sometime between 4 and 7 months, although this can vary widely. By age 3, most children have all 20 teeth, and this gets replaced by the adult set of 32 teeth after the age of 6.
Since the milk teeth are meant to fall out, some parents may wonder if it needs that much attention. The truth is those baby teeth serve many functions, besides being placeholders for adult teeth. They form the shape of the face, promote proper speech development, and aids in eating a variety of foods.
A lack of proper care in the early stages can result in cavities, which can hurt not just the milk teeth, but permanent teeth as well. Unchecked infections can spread to the whole body, cause extreme pain to the child and result in expensive treatments. When all this can be easily avoided! Children can get cavities if their teeth aren’t cared for, but there are a few more factors that can increase the likelihood of getting cavities. Family history is a strong factor, as is if the child wears braces or orthodontics or has a high sugar diet.
Whatever the case may be, even if your child has a predisposition for cavities, we can still keep it at bay with proper oral care from the start. Here is your complete guide for baby oral care, as well as our recommendations for the best baby oral care products.
The Best Baby Oral Care Products
Let’s start by looking at the age-wise baby oral care, keeping in line with the baby’s teeth development.
Babies of this age group are unlikely to have any teeth, but you still need to clean the baby’s gums. They need to be cleaned after every feeding, or at least twice a day. Here’s the right way to do it:
- Wet a clean washcloth with filtered water
- Hold your baby securely with one arm so you can see the baby’s mouth
- Wrap the wet washcloth around the index finger of your free hand
- Using gentle strokes, massage the baby’s gums
Avoid the temptation to leave the baby with a bottle propped up – this can cause caries. Take care to sterilize everything that comes in contact with the baby’s mouth, like bottles, pacifiers, nipples, etc. The WHO recommends exclusive breastfeeding for babies up to six months of age, so avoid offering other sugary foods. When babies start teething, they can be uncomfortable as their gums get red and swollen. Give baby a cold teether or clean cold cloth to gnaw on.
By this age, the baby will most probably have sprouted her first tooth. It’s even more important to care for these tiny teeth now, and set a routine for tooth care with the right baby oral care products. It’s now time to start using a soft-bristled toothbrush with a small head, although the baby is not ready for toothpaste yet. Here’s how to brush your baby’s first teeth:
- Hold your baby with one arm, so that the baby’s mouth is visible.
- Hold the toothbrush at an angle to the row of the teeth
- Gently brush in circular motions – avoid a back-and-forth motion
- Take care to reach all sides of the teeth
- Brush the tongue gently too after finishing the teeth
Remember to reinforce the habit of brushing twice a day with toothpaste and plain water. Toddlers can put up a fight when it comes to brushing their teeth, so try to make it fun for them. Continue to examine your child’s teeth so you can spot any abnormalities right at the start.
Once your child crosses 2 and half years of age, all the milk teeth should have come in, and many babies have begun weaning from the bottle. Breastfeeding can be continued, but take care to clean the mouth after every feeding to prevent nursing caries.
After the age of 3, you can move on to the next stage of baby oral care products by introducing fluoride toothpaste. Choose a toothpaste that’s specially formulated for babies, like the Mamaearth Orange Toothpaste. This toothpaste is sugar-free and sulfate-free, offering adequate protection along with a delightful orange flavor.
While taking care of your baby’s teeth, it’s also important to consider other parts of the mouth. You can use other specialized baby oral care products, like this Mamaearth Milky Soft Natural Lip Balm for Babies. This is a 100% natural lip balm, made from oats, calendula, and milk protein which ensures the baby’s lips stay soft for up to 12 hours. This is a product that’s particularly useful during winters since the cold weather can affect the delicate skin on the lips.
With the right baby kit suited to your baby’s age, you’re all set to ensure that your little one’s smile stays beautiful always and that you set the stage for a set of healthy teeth in the future. Most importantly, you’ll be able to get your child into a proper habit of caring for her body, an important skill every child needs.