Step 2–Toddlers: Brush teeth, keep teething gums clean
At this age little mouths are busy places!
Baby teeth usually start to erupt between age 6 months to 1 year, this is called 'teething'. Meanwhile your baby’s adult teeth are also developing high in the jaw, an important thing to remember when using toothpaste.
Why brush baby teeth?
Even new baby teeth get covered with plaque so cleaning them will remove this sticky film and prevent tooth decay and gum disease. Brush teeth twice a day
Don't forget to care for gums too!
Gums also need to be kept clean particuarly during teething. Keeping gums clean can help avoid gum inflamation and pain caused when food and bacteria get caught under tiny gums flaps and infect the gum tissue.
How do I clean gums and baby teeth?
- Brush teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste from when the first tooth appears.
- Sit your baby or toddler up to clean teeth. Try to avoid lying them down.
- Use a Brush-Baby DentalWipe or Brush-Baby's new 'FirstBrush' to gently clean your baby's first, tiny teeth and massage gums.
- As your baby get more teeth we recommend mums (and dads!) brush their toddlers teeth with a toothbrush and toddlers use the Brush-Baby Chewable Toothbrush themselves, it's designed to help clean teeth and gums as it is chewed and acts like a teether - all in one!
What about toothpaste ?
The taste and texture of toothpaste is very important at this age so choose one they like the taste and feel of. Remember, many babies, toddlers and young children cannot tolerate strong flavours, including mint, which is why Brush-Baby toothpastes have non-minty flavours.
Brush-Baby toothpastes contain both fluoride and xylitol, here's why....
FLUORIDE is recommended in all toothpaste in the UK because it strengthens the tooth's enamel protecting the tooth from decay.
However, from 6 months to 3 years of age the adult teeth are developing high in the jawbone (you can't see them yet). If too much fluoride is swallowed during this age there is the risk of white spots developing on these developing adult teeth - this is called fluorosis.
So,here are some tips to use fluoride toothpaste correctly:
- Always use the correct toothpaste for your toddler's age, unless advised otherwise by a dental professional (no one else will do!)
- Babies and toddlers tend to swallow toothpaste so only use a SMEAR of toothpaste. This way they won't swallow to much fluoride.
- Spit out toothpaste after brushing but don't rinse. This way fluoride stays in the mouth, next to teeth where it can continue doing it's job ( a good tip for us all!).
- Don't allow babies or toddlers to eat toothpaste.
XYLITOL, a tooth friendly sugar - yes! Decay-causing bacteria cannot use this sugar as food so they don't produce the acid waste that rots teeth. These bacteria will also die away leaving room for more tooth-friendly bacteria. Research has shown that fluoride also works better in the presence of Xylitol because it makes the mouth less acid - good for teeth!
Did you know that mums who chew Xylitol Chewing Gum can protect their children's teeth from tooth decay?
This is because the xylitol improves mum's oral heath by reducing the number of decay-causing bacteria in her mouth. This in turn prevents these bacteria from being passed on from mother to child, protecting them from tooth decay.