What is more adorable than a little grin full of healthy baby teeth? We’ve compiled a few tips to help you keep your baby’s cute smile in tip-top shape by providing the absolute best oral care possible!
- Oral care should begin from birth.
One of the most common questions we hear in speaking with our wonderful MAM Moms and Dads is “When should I start providing oral care for my baby?”. A common misconception is that oral care need only begin from the emergence of the first tooth; in truth, however, oral care needs to begin from birth. Twice a day, a clean, wet washcloth can serve as an effective tool for you to massage bacteria off your newborn’s gums. Not only will this clean baby’s mouth, but the routine familiarizes baby with the routine of cleaning the mouth- this will be incredibly helpful when it comes time to begin brushing baby’s teeth. Another option, rather than a washcloth, is the MAM Oral Care Rabbit. Especially designed to expertly clean baby’s gums, the Oral Care Rabbit features ultra-soft microfiber ears parents can slip their fingers into for easy, effective maneuvering about baby’s mouth that a bulky washcloth does not allow.
Cleaning baby’s gums is simple and enjoyable with the MAM Oral Care Rabbit.
2. Baby’s teeth need to be brushed daily.
We know—life with a baby is hectic and jam-packed with activity! Certain things can be lost in the shuffle and at the end of a long day, brushing baby’s teeth may slip. This, however, should really not be the case: it is simply too important! With your baby’s first tooth—which most babies will receive around 6 months of age, although variations in age of first tooth emergence are very common-- comes plaque formation on that tooth. Brush baby’s teeth at least twice a day (once after breakfast, and once after the last feeding of the day) to avoid cavities and painful infections.
Brushing technique: First brush the bottoms of your baby’s teeth, where the most contact between foods and teeth occur. Use a circular brushing motion with the bristles of the toothbrush aiming down, where the tooth and gum meet as this is where the majority of plaque forms. Use gentle up-and-down strokes while holding the brush vertically.
3. Make brushing time easy for parent and baby- minimize struggles with these techniques.
Brushing does not need to be a struggle between parent and child. To normalize the routine of brushing your baby’s teeth and therefore make it less of a struggle between parent and baby, try a few of these techniques:
- Link it with another daily routine. In the morning, brushing can be linked to getting dressed, followed by brushing, followed by breakfast. At night, brushing can precede a bedtime story and giving baby a pacifier.
- Set a great example for your little one. After all- monkey see, monkey do! Your baby looks up to you, naturally. Seeing you brushing your teeth is the ultimate motivator for your little one to do so as well. They want to be just like mommy and daddy!
- Come up with a silly brushing song that spans the two minutes or so it takes to brush. We all know how much babies love to sing- adding this element to brushing time can be the difference-maker between brushing being an exhausting chore or a fun bonding experience.
- Invoke your baby’s wild imagination. Come up with a brushing story- such as your toothbrush is their favorite animal, and is running around the jungle, eating up the germ bugs. Adding fun to the equation makes the experience nicer for everyone- the lack of resistance this can result in is just priceless.
- Involve your baby. Supervise them while they use the MAM First Brush or allow them to hold onto the brush with you using the MAM Trainer Brush, and encourage them to squeeze just enough toothpaste with you to cover the red indicators on their MAM toothbrushes. We designed our toothbrushes with this indicator based on the amount of toothpaste recommended by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry- but all your little one needs to know is that this is a fun little task that they can work with mommy and/or daddy on!
4. Avoid these common mistakes.
These are some common mistakes parents make related to oral care. Most often they occur due to incorrect advice from peers or just due to parents playing copycat without realizing that these techniques are not advisable.
- Do not ‘clean’ your baby’s pacifier by inserting it in your own mouth. The bacteria in your saliva can seriously harm your baby as their immune system is much more fragile and less-developed as yours.
- Similarly, do not share cutlery with your baby and do not allow siblings or family members to share toothbrushes.
- Teething gels are commonly recommended as a solution for teething. These gels should most likely be avoided for children younger than 2- the FDA has issued a warning to consumers about the use of benzocaine, the main ingredient in many of these over-the-counter gels intended to relieve teething pain in babies younger than 2. Benzocaine is associated with a rare but serious condition called methemoglobinemia, which greatly reduces the amount of oxygen carried through the bloodstream. Because of this, the FDA recommends that benzocaine products should not be given to children younger than age 2 unless under the supervision of a health care professional.
We hope you find this post helpful as you look into providing the absolute best oral care for your little one! What did you find especially interesting? Are there additional questions you have? Please let us know in the comment section below- we look forward to hearing from you!
For additional information on MAM Oral Care:
- Watch our MAM Oral Care Video on YouTube
- Check out the MAM Oral Care section of our website: http://bit.ly/mamoralcare
 . "FDA Drug Safety Communication: Reports of a rare, but serious and potentially fatal adverse effect with the use of over-the-counter (OTC) benzocaine gels and liquids applied to the gums or mouth." FDA- U.S. Food and Drug Administration. FDA, 04-07-2011. Web. 15 Nov 2011. <http://www.fda.gov/drugs/drugsafety/ucm250024.htm>.
Fever, cranky, and gnawing/ biting on everything in sight. Sounds terrible doesn’t it? But these are all common signs that your baby is teething. While this can be exciting for parents it can also prove to be a difficult time for parents but especially babies. Anywhere from around three months to seven months children will start to grow their first teeth. It can happen over night or take several days, either way MAM has several teething solutions to help soothe those sensitive gums.
MAM Starter and Clip: Different textured surfaces help soothe baby’s sensitive gums and is easy for little hands to hold. Attaches to clothing with an innovative clip to keep the teether clean and close by.
MAM Bite and Brush: MAM designers have developed a new teether that not only soothes but also cleans baby’s first teeth.
MAM Cooler: Features water-filled elements and a unique design which allows the Cooler to get in those hard to reach places and soothe sensitive and tender gums. The ring handle fits small hands and can also be attached to clothes with one of MAM’s clips.
Each child is different and the timing of the first tooth varies but be sure to check with your doctor if there are no signs of a first tooth by one year of age. To find MAM teethers or any other MAM product, use our store locator to find a store near you.
MAM wants to know at what age your baby started teething? Post a comment below to let us know!