DISCLOSURE: Noelle Copeland RDH is the oral care specialist and dental consultant to the Brilliant and Baby Buddy oral care lines through Compac Industries. See terms below
Oral care is much more than a few items to pick up at the store, and it should begin much earlier than when actual teeth are involved. Not only should successful oral care start early, like “Newborn Baby Early”, there's more to it than just brush, spit, repeat. It begins when life begins!
Babies have delicate and actively developing immune systems, in fact, their immune system doesn't fully start working on its own until around 3 months of age and then continues to get more effective with time.
Infants are more susceptible to exposure from new bacteria and viruses in the earliest stages of being introduced to this amazing new world.
Babies can begin to teethe as early as 3 months of age. This is the time frame where saliva increases as the mouth prepares for the arrival of the infamous “First Tooth”. Many children will get their first tooth between 4-8 months of age, yet some pass their first birthday still sporting a toothless smile. No matter what time frame your child falls into, “teething” is a foundational milestone that you and your child will go through together that creates a great opportunity for you to continue an early oral care routine.
**Brilliant Oral Care has the best baby finger toothbrush.**
At some point, your baby will be in full “active teething”, with all the chewing, biting, gnawing and probable fussing, your heart (and ears) can handle. This is a stage where they will put just about anything in their mouth, so caution and supervision is monumentally important.
You may suddenly notice how strong their little bite has become when you try to put your finger in their mouth for brushing or wiping. This is a good time to transition to a silicone teether-toothbrush design.
Additionally, you may notice little swollen bumps in the mouth on the gums. Not to worry, those are little teeth trying very hard to peek through the tissue. Allow your baby to teethe on safe items as much as possible to help ease discomfort.
Finally, at some point, the first tooth will emerge through the gums. Once a tooth fully erupts into the mouth, it's time to add a bristled toothbrush to the routine. This is a time frame where baby will still be teething and need teething relief, but will have new teeth that will need a good bristle brushing as well.
Keep using the silicone toothbrush and add in the bristle toothbrush for the newly erupted baby teeth.
If oral care has been absent up to this point, don't worry, but NOW is the time to get a regular routine started. Early childhood caries (cavities) is considered the most chronic infectious disease that plagues our children today. It can begin early, progress rapidly, and often goes untreated until there are painfully obvious visual or sensory symptoms.
Children should visit the dentist for their first “Smile Visit” somewhere between the first tooth appearing and the first birthday, whichever comes first. This is when they will be examined for normal anatomy and function, oral care routines will be reviewed, and future visits will be determined.
Toddlers are defined as children between the ages of 1- 3years old. As they grow, so does their diet. Oftentimes consuming more sticky, gummy, and chewy foods. Silicone toothbrushes should be removed from the oral care routine once all the front teeth have come in. Most toddlers will get their first molar tooth between the 13-19 month stage.
Baby teeth matter, so it's important to keep them healthy and disease free until the permanent adult teeth are ready to come in. Just because baby teeth eventually fall out, does NOT make their oral care any less important.
Baby teeth are spaced just right to allow for the growth and development of the jaw, skull and incoming adult teeth. Any disruption in that pattern can affect many factors that will ultimately have an impact on future eruption patterns and bone development.
Start oral care early, with interventions that help build lasting routines, for healthy smiles all around!
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