You might think that your baby’s oral health only becomes vital once they grow their first tooth, but the truth is, good oral care should start from the day they were born! Your child’s dental hygiene is incredibly important as it helps them eat and speak, and can affect their teeth when they grow up. At Haakaa, we want to help protect your children’s precious little smiles. We’ll be answering some common questions parents might have about looking after their children’s new chompers as well as showing you our favourite products to help.
How can I take care of my infant’s oral health?
Even when your baby has no teeth at all, you can still keep your baby’s mouth clean by wiping their gums to remove sugar and bacteria. Many recommend using a clean and damp baby washcloth, though you can also use Haakaa’s Silicone Finger Brush! Our super soft, 100% silicone Finger Brush is suitable to use from birth to help your child become familiar with the sensation of brushing gums, helping instil good dental habits later on. The Finger Brush has two sides: one with soft silicone bristles, and another with firmer silicone nubs to help relieve pains when your baby begins to teethe.
What do I do when my baby gets their first tooth?
Once your baby gets their first tooth at around six months, you can start brushing with toothpaste twice a day. Remember to only use a small smear of regular fluoride toothpaste each time! The easiest way to clean your baby’s teeth is to have them sit in your lap and facing the same direction as you for easy access to & around their mouths.
When your child is at this stage, they can graduate to their first proper toothbrush! The 360° Silicone Toothbrush features soft bristles all around the brush head to remove more plaque than conventional toothbrushes. Made from 100% soft silicone and with a guard to prevent choking, your child can continue using this brush as they begin independency and start learning how to brush all by themselves! Remember to replace toothbrushes every 3-4 months.
How can I prevent tooth decay in my baby?
Tooth decay is an unfortunate yet common occurrence in babies which can lead to pain and infection, as well as further consequences later on in their lives. Fortunately, it only takes a few simple steps to prevent tooth decay from affecting your baby.
Although it is a debated topic, it is widely recommended that you use fluoride toothpaste for your baby. This is because fluoride strengthens teeth, reducing decay. Other measures you can take include enrolling your child at your local dental clinic and getting regular check-ups. 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 increase the chances of tooth decay.
You may be tempted to give your baby a bottle before bed to help them sleep. Unfortunately, the sugars in the milk you give your child can also contribute to tooth decay! If your child is determined to have something to suck on to settle themselves down, you can use a dummy. If you’re after a safe and eco-friendly option, Haakaa has the Silicone Dummy which is made from one piece of super soft silicone. It’s free from any nasty chemicals, with an ergonomic shape that doesn’t leave marks or a rash.
TOP TIP: Chuck this Silicone Dummy in the freezer to provide cooling relief when your child is teething.
Haakaa also offers the Nanosilver Silicone Dummy which uses the latest science & technology to create a naturally anti-bacterial product. The microscopic silver fragments in the soft silicone body maintain cleanliness up to 99.9% without additional disinfection or sterilising, and prevents secondary virus inflammation!
How should I care for my toddler’s teeth?
Once your bub is around a year old, they can graduate to using another soft, small-headed toothbrush as they will now have more teeth than before – meaning more gaps and crevices that bacteria can sneak through. Fortunately, protecting your toddler’s teeth is no more difficult than taking care of their teeth as an infant. Be sure to keep brushing their teeth twice a day – after breakfast and before bed – for at least two minutes, reaching around the outer, inner and chewing surfaces of all their teeth! You can encourage your child to spit out the toothpaste after brushing without rinsing, as the amount of fluoride toothpaste remaining will further protect their teeth. Keep checking for tooth decay every month at home by lifting their top lip and taking them for dental check-ups. Finally, continue choosing healthy food and drink options for your child with less sugar to reduce the chances of tooth decay.
Teaching your child the importance of dental hygiene when they’re young promotes 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 & enjoyable bonding experience.