February is Children’s Dental Health Month, and we’re raising awareness by bringing you our top teething tips. It’s never too early to instil good dental health habits, and you can start even before your child’s teeth actually appear. Read on to find out more about what you can do to help your little one through the teething process with hopefully fewer tears!
Before teeth appear
Did you know that your baby has 20 teeth already in their jaw at birth? Although these won’t start to become visible until around six months, you can begin to instil nightly cleaning habits before then. Run a clean, damp wash cloth over your baby’s gums to help clear away bacteria. The massaging motion can also help soothe sore gums as teeth are just beginning to break through.
You can begin using a small, soft-bristled toothbrush as soon as teeth start coming through, but don’t worry if you don’t manage to do much brushing! At this stage, it’s more about getting your baby used to brushing their teeth as part of their daily routine. Use a tiny smear of baby toothpaste, and gradually build up to more thorough brushing.
Chewing on specially designed toys can provide much-needed relief to your teething baby, allowing the gums to be massaged and stimulated. Look out for toys with a variety of textured surfaces which can be even more satisfying, like the Ice Cream Teething Ring from Little Dutch – try popping it in the fridge for a cooling sensation. We also love the 2-in-1 design of Neckerchew bibs, which help keep your baby’s clothes dry and clean during a dribbling stage and feature a soft silicone corner that offers a safe and satisfying chew.
Surprising side effects
Although teething doesn’t directly cause nappy rash, there is some evidence that suggests there is a correlation. Excess saliva is produced during the teething process, which when swallowed, can irritate the stomach and cause more bowel movements, and sometimes diarrhoea which is acidic, causing aggravation to the skin. So, keep this in mind and prepare in advance for sore bums!
Keep faces dry
The excess saliva produced during teething can cause irritation if it sits on your baby’s skin for prolonged periods, which can lead to a sore rash on their face, leading to discomfort, particularly at bedtime. Keep their face dry as much as possible; it’s a good idea to keep a supply of dribble bibs hand to mop things up.