Most babies get their first teeth by six months, but teething can begin as early as three months. Both of my boys were early teethers. Here’s a photo of my youngest at four months old that shows his first two teeth and a third about to break through.
It can be difficult to get your toddler to brush his teeth. Rather than deal with tantrums or resistance from their children, many moms figure that it’s fine to skip daily tooth-brushing because baby teeth are not permanent. But did you know that dentists actually recommend caring for baby’s gums even before your baby has any teeth?
According to Parenting.com, less than 6% of moms actually wipe baby’s gums with a wet washcloth as recommended. I’ll admit that I didn’t remember to regularly wipe my oldest’s gums as a baby. I remembered about 50% of the time with my youngest because I received an adorable MAM Oral Care Rabbit, which I used to wipe my son’s gums.
When his first teeth came in, I used the MAM Training Brush to brush his new teeth and the Oral Care Rabbit to wipe his gums. One end of the MAM Training Brush massages gums, and my son loved holding the brush and chewing on it when he was teething. It got him used to brushing his teeth. Now that he is 18+ months old, we’ve switched to the MAM First Brush. He tries to brush his own teeth, but he doesn’t protest when I brush his teeth because he was accustomed to having a daily oral care routine.
My oldest because he wants to “be a big boy” and does not want my help brushing his teeth, which makes it more difficult to ensure he’s thoroughly brushed every tooth. Oral care expertsnote that parents should help children with “follow-up brushing” until the age of 8, but I don’t think this is always realistic. I encourage my son to brush for a full two minutes by setting a timer in the bathroom and brushing my teeth at the same time he does his. I also taught him the C-O-I technique, which is just a fancy way of saying to brush the “C: Chewing, O: Outside, and I: Inside” surfaces of the teeth in that order. These reminders along with regular trips to the dentist for checkouts have kept him cavity-free so far.
In addition to regular tooth-brushing, lifestyle and eating habits also impact teeth health. My children’s dentist labeled juice and gummy candies (or even vitamins) as major culprits behind childhood cavities. Based on my dentist’s advice, I offer water and healthy snacks between meals rather than sugary snacks. If your children love juice and sweets, try offering them only with a meal and brushing soon afterwards. My dentist also warned that I should not offer my children milk in bed. Some children regularly go to bed with a bottle or a sippy cup of milk or formula, which can lead to more cavities.
It’s not always easy to maintain a good oral care routine, but I love my children’s smiles. I am happy that they’ve been spared the experience of having cavities treated at the dentist, and I hope they’ll always have such beautiful, healthy teeth.
Want It: You can find MAM products in stores or online at www.mambaby.com. MAM products are available at Amazon, Diapers.com and BabiesRUs and other leading retailers. Follow MAM on Twitter @mambaby for more information or “Like” MAM on Facebook.
Disclosure: I am a MAM Brand Ambassador. I received samples and compensation to facilitate this review. However, all opinions are my own, and I did purchase and use MAM bottles, teethers, pacifiers and oral care products with my children before I was selected as a Brand Ambassador.