Image by Colin Maynard
The festive period is often the time when infants will try a wide variety of new foods, including dried fruit, a teaspoon of ice cream or even a little piece of Christmas cake. However, in line with the British Society of Paediatric Dentistry’s (BSPD) Dental Check by One (DCby1) recommendations, experts are advising parents to brush baby teeth and wipe their gums more than twice a day.
Dental advisors at Bickiepegs, experts in oral health for over 90 years, advise that even when a baby has no teeth or just one or two, it important to start a good oral care regime.
The importance of brushing
As parents, we know that it’s important to take care of our children’s teeth, but it can be getting babies into a cleaning routine can take a little time. The bedtime brushing session is key – but you should also brush your baby’s gums and teeth on at least one other occasion during the day, and even more if they are enjoying sweet treats during the day. Not all babies enjoy having their teeth brushed. Thankfully, dentists say that not every cleaning session needs to involve a brush.
Melonie Prebble, Dental Therapist & Hygienist said, “It doesn’t really matter when that second or third brushing happens – just as long as it does. Babies’ milk teeth are key to the development of adult teeth.
“It’s important to get your baby used to having their gums and teeth cleaned,” says Melonie. “You don’t even have to be in the bathroom for the second brushing. Try running your finger over their gums to wipe them and gently brush their first teeth at their high chair after they have finished eating.”
Melonie adds, “Babies should visit the dentist before their first birthday and start a daily oral care regime. I recommend using a specialist baby toothbrush, such as Bickiepegs Finger Toothbrush & Gum Massager, so that they start a good regime as early as possible.”
Don’t let teething ruin Christmas!
While some babies breeze through teething, other little ones (and their parents) can find it quite distressing. Signs that teething is on the way include:
- heavy dribbling
- sore, swollen gums
- flushed, red cheeks or face
- increase sucking, biting and gum-rubbing
- crying and unsettled behaviour
- disturbed sleep
- less interest in feeds
Dr Uchenna Okoye, Dentist and Clinical Director of London Smiling Dental Group (and a new mother herself) comments, “Sometimes parents are surprised at how early teething can start. In fact some babies are even born with their first teeth, whilst others start teething from about four to six months. The teething process can be uncomfortable with many babies experiencing flushed cheeks, dribbling, sore red gums and irritability.
“Teething infants will become very focused on chewing anything they can find to help relieve these symptoms! It’s important to find a teething aid that is satisfyingly hard and that can reach front and back teeth.”
Even the Royals might be in for a tough time this Christmas as little Prince Louis is approaching 6 months – prime teething age. The team at Bickiepegs are bound to be on high alert, having supplied their natural teething biscuits to royal babies in both the UK and Europe from as far back as the 1930s, receiving thank you letters from the Royal households of Princess Margaret, Prince Charles and Princess Anne.
Chris Blincoe, Director at Bickiepegs Healthcare said, “We are so proud that our heritage has been built over the last 90 years, and that our history includes offering support to royal babies through the tricky teething phase. Our teething biscuits have been tried and tested by British babies for generations and it is lovely to know that we continue to help babies teethe naturally, often hearing of grandparents recommending our products!”