Infant Oral Care Begins Before Babies Have Teeth

By Laura Agadoni in Natural Products

When my children were old enough to start brushing their own teeth, I taught them to hum "Happy Birthday" twice so they would know they brushed their teeth for long enough. But I knew I had to start the brushing routine before that stage if I wanted to ingrain the importance of oral care. I didn't want to give a toddler a reason to say "no," especially with something as important as teeth. Yes, infant oral care begins before a baby has teeth!

Choosing oral care products made from naturally derived ingredients means I can feel good about keeping my children's teeth healthy with safe, effective substances. When I'm out shopping for products for my children, the choice is easy, because I can trust brands that carefully select quality ingredients that also promote sustainable living.

Before Teeth Come In

Before your baby cuts their first tooth, which usually occurs sometime between six and eight months of age, according to the American Dental Association, they'll perform gummy teething on your finger. When your baby starts doing this, use that as your cue to brush the gums. Take a wet washcloth and wipe all around the gums. Treat this as a playtime activity, complete with singing. Your baby will probably enjoy biting on the washcloth. This sets a fun precedent for a future of healthy baby teeth and healthy oral care. Wipe their gums with a washcloth after feedings.

Happy baby smiling without teeth

Baby's First Tooth

Once teeth start coming in, you may want to transition from the washcloth to a baby toothbrush and a toothpaste. Tom's of Maine's Fluoride-Free Toddler Training toothpaste is specially formulated for three to twenty-four months and is safe if swallowed. When your baby is older, transition to another natural toothpaste, like Tom's of Maine's Silly Strawberry toothpaste, which uses calcium and silica to gently clean. Starting your child's infant oral care journey with natural products establishes a healthy routine and fosters a lifelong commitment to environmentally friendly choices.

How to Brush

Put your baby on your lap, facing away from you. Brush the teeth from behind, making sure to support your baby's head. When you brush, focus your efforts between the gums and teeth—that's the most important area. Consult with your pediatrician or dental health professional about frequency and when you should add flossing to your child's routine.

Baby brushing teeth in the bathtub

Visiting the Dentist

At twelve months, your baby is old enough to visit the dentist, according to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. It's important to take your child to the dentist regularly. Cavities are a common concern with children, and they are preventable with proper infant oral care that continues throughout childhood and the teen years. According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, more than 40 percent of children aged two to eleven have had a cavity. You can be confident that natural toothpastes will effectively and safely clean your child's teeth while minimizing environmental impact.

Do you have any tips for taking care of a baby's teeth in a fun way? Let us know what your routine is like on Twitter!

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Why It's Good

Establishing an oral care regimen for your child as early as possible sets them up for a lifetime of strong, clean teeth. Products made from naturally derived ingredients can help them on their journey to a healthy smile and teach them about making environmentally friendly choices.