Missed our Wednesday lunch club with dental health expert Dominique Tillen? Don’t worry, you can read all of the expert advice she shared here
Every week at Mother&Baby we bring you the Wednesday Lunch Club – a chance to get brilliant advice for your parenting questions from a top expert. This week, Dominique was on standby to answer questions about looking after your baby’s teeth.
Dominique is the founder and managing director of Brush-Baby Ltd, which makes dental care products for children aged newborn to six years old. Frustrated by not being able to find a suitable toothbrush for her baby daughter, Dominique produced her own Chewable Toothbrush which works with a baby’s natural urge to chew.
If you missed the chat, here’s what happened…
‘How hard should I brush my baby's teeth? I don't want to hurt her, of course, but I want to make sure I'm cleaning them properly. Is there a way of knowing how to get this right? Thank you.’ Anonymous.
Brush-Baby: Be gentle, there is no need to scrub! Your baby's first experience of tooth care needs to be a pleasant one so as long as your baby's comfortable and willing to let you brush her teeth you getting it right.
‘My baby's teething and I've been brushing her front teeth, but now the others are coming through next to them it's very uncomfortable for her and I haven't been able to brush them for a while. What products or things could u recommend that won't irritate or upset her too much but will keep her teeth healthy? Thanks!’ Anonymous.
Brush-Baby: Keeping her teeth and teething gums clean is really important just now but you'll need to be gentle. Try our Chewable Toothbrush its soft silicone bristles will help to keep both teeth and gums clean.
Brush-Baby: Here’s Brush-Baby’s Early Years Toothcare tips…
1. No teeth? Clean baby gums
2. Teething? Brush from the first tooth and keep teething gums clean
3. Full set of baby teeth? Brush teeth twice a day and floss when two teeth start to touch.
4. Try to use a xylitol and fluoride toothpaste
‘I've been using brush baby wipes and my they are great, my son thinks it's a funny game.’ Alison Barber.
‘I wish I could get the brush in my baby’s mouth more easily, but she’s very resistant and kicks up a fuss. What’s a good way of trying to do this without causing too much stress?’ Hayley Kadrou.
Brush-Baby: Here are a few things you could try... A different flavour toothpaste, choose a really mild flavour and use just a smear, or combine devices. Brush-Baby has a new BabySonic electric toothbrush you could use and a Chewable Toothbrush for her to use herself. If she really won't let you brush just make sure a smear of toothpaste gets into her mouth that way it can start its job of protecting her baby teeth.
‘Why do I need to use a different toothpaste for my baby, can’t he just use mine?’ Nicola Smith.
Brush-Baby: We don't recommend that your baby uses your toothpaste. Firstly, it's likely to be too strong and minty and secondly, it will have too much fluoride and could damage developing adult teeth. Use toothpaste developed for your baby’s age - its flavour and fluoride level will be more suitable.
We don't recommend that your baby uses your toothpaste
‘I can't get my toddler to brush his teeth; in fact I can't even get his mouth open to brush them! What can I do? Help!’ Marian Greally.
Brush-Baby: This is such a common problem and just the one our Chewable Toothbrush was designed to address. Give this to him with his favourite toothpaste and let him chew away.
‘Sounds ideal and I'll give anything a go! Why is a Chewable Brush better than a normal brush? I really want to give him a good start. Now you've given me the answer... where can I buy one of these brushes from?’ Marian Greally.
Brush-Baby: The Chewable Toothbrush will help to clean both teeth and gums, it also gets to those hard to reach teeth and toddlers can do it all themselves. All they need to do is chew. Good news! You can find these in the baby toiletries section at most major supermarkets, by the teething gels in Boots or directly from Brush-Baby's website.
‘Dear Brush-Baby, When should I start brushing my baby's teeth and how?’ Sally Ann Sadler.
Brush-Baby: Cleaning your baby's gums before they get their first tooth helps reduce bacteria in the mouth and creates a healthier environment for those new baby teeth. Once that first tooth is through it needs to be cleaned twice a day so bacteria can't get a foothold. To clean gums try our DentalWipes and to clean new teeth use a soft baby toothbrush and toothpaste.
‘Wow! Didn’t realise you are supposed to clean their gums too, thanks for the advice!’ Sally Ann Sadler.
Brush-Baby: Keeping gums clean, important but often forgotten!
‘My 18 month old has tiny brown spots on one of his top front teeth. My dentist said it wasn't cavities, she said not to worry about it but I am.’ Anonymous.
Brush-Baby: If your dentist has examined the tooth and confirms that there is no decay then continue to keep the tooth clean. The brown spots may be just a developmental anomaly in the baby tooth which is not unusual. Remember this does not mean that other teeth including adult teeth will necessarily be affected, but you will have to wait and see.
‘My baby is currently teething (she's seven months), should I start brushing straightaway?' Anonymous.
Brush-Baby: Certainly, if her first teeth are coming through. If they are very tiny try our DentalWipes they are soft and gentle in little mouths. You can also use them to keep her teething gums clean to help avoid severe teething pain caused by gum infection and inflammation.