A common misconception amongst most parents is that babies are born with no teeth and oral hygiene should only start once their child's teeth have come through their gums. While this makes logical sense, the real truth is that most children are born with up to 20 teeth underneath their gums which are slowly growing and developing until they eventually break through. Dentists recommend that oral hygiene should start from birth- not only for the benefit of the child but to help enable parents to get into good habits early, which they can then pass onto their children.
But how do parents clean their kids teeth if they have none? What's the right amount of toothpaste to use? How often should children have dental checkups? To help clear up the confusion, we've compiled a quick guide to brushing your child's teeth through different age stages:
You may think there's no need for brushing when your child doesn't have any teeth, but as we mentioned, their developing teeth are constantly growing and getting ready to pop through the gums. It's therefore important at this stage of life to keep your child's gums free of any harmful bacteria that may affect tooth growth early on. Keeping your child's gums clean is relatively straightforward; every time your child finishes feeding, take a damp cloth and gently wipe both the upper and lower gums. This will help remove bacteria that left sitting can cause early tooth decay on baby teeth.
6 months - 2 years
By now, most parents have experienced the joys of teething, and all that comes with it! Once your child's teeth start popping through, it's time to ramp things up a little. Purchase a soft-bristled toothbrush (kids size) and some good quality, preferably natural toothpaste. At this stage of life, kids don't need a huge amount of toothpaste- an amount the size of a grain of rice will do. Gently brush the teeth in a circular motion, making sure you brush the teeth at multiple angles for full coverage. In areas where teeth have not yet formed, a simple gum wipe will suffice.
It's at this stage that we recommend your child getting their first dental checkup to make sure everything's in order. As soon as your child's first tooth has come through, we recommend making a booking.
During this period, all of your child's teeth will come through, and towards the ages of 5-6, a few will start to fall out as the mouth prepares for adult teeth. During this stage routine is important, as your child will almost be at the point where they can brush their own teeth.
For children 2-6, a pea-sized amount of toothpaste will suffice. Like the stage before-hand, gently brush your child's teeth in a circular motion and at a variety of angles. In addition to the teeth, lightly brush the gums, inner cheeks, roof of the mouth and tongue- this will help neutralise and eliminate harmful bacteria as well as anaerobic bacteria which are responsible for releasing sulfuric compounds, causing bad breath.
We recommend brushing your child's teeth twice a day (after breakfast and after dinner), and scheduling regular dental checkups every 6 months - 1 year depending on your dentists' recommendation.
Looking for a yummy toothpaste for your child with natural ingredients? Take a look at our Ctomi Orange or Strawberry Kids Tooth Gels. Specifically formulated for littlies, our Tooth Gels gently soothe sensitive gums and fight plaque and tartar build-up, helping combat tooth decay. With two yummy flavours, brushing your child's teeth won't be a chore anymore!
Free of SLS, triclosan, parabens, aspartame, whitening agents and sodium saccharin, our Kids Tooth Gels are perfectly suited for children 6 months and up.