Oral Care: Teeth Growth and Care | biglittleme.com

So your little one has sprouted their first tooth, and then what next? Check out our Buds Organics Oral Care range of course!

When our little ones were infants, we would have used a wet towel to wipe their gums during bath time or a wipe down before bedtime. But what about new teeth?

The development of gum and teeth structure from infancy to tween years is a fascinating process marked by significant milestones. Here’s a general overview:

Infancy (0-2 years)
– At birth, babies usually have 20 primary teeth, also known as deciduous teeth or baby teeth, underneath their gums.
– The eruption of primary teeth typically begins around six months of age, starting with the lower central incisors.
– By the age of 2, most children have a full set of primary teeth, including incisors, canines, and molars.

Early Childhood (2-6 years)
– This stage is characterized by the gradual replacement of primary teeth with permanent teeth.
– The first permanent molars usually appear behind the primary teeth around age 6.
– Children may start losing their primary teeth and experiencing the eruption of permanent teeth, starting with the lower central incisors and followed by the upper central incisors.

Throughout these stages, proper dental care, including regular brushing, flossing, and dental check-ups, is crucial for maintaining oral health. Additionally, dietary habits play a significant role in dental development, as a balanced diet supports the growth of healthy teeth and gums.

Now that we know about how teeth grow over time, the next question we usually ask is fluoride or non-fluoride toothpaste? Xylitol and fluoride are both substances that can contribute to better oral hygiene in different ways. Xylitol is found in our Fluoride-Free range of toothpastes!

– Xylitol is a natural sugar alcohol found in many fruits and vegetables.
– It is commonly used as a sugar substitute in chewing gum, mints, and oral care products like toothpaste and mouthwash.
– Xylitol has several oral health benefits:
Reduces Cavities: Xylitol cannot be metabolized by bacteria in the mouth, so it does not contribute to tooth decay. In fact, it can inhibit the growth of cavity-causing bacteria like Streptococcus mutans.
Stimulates Saliva Production: Chewing gum or consuming products containing xylitol can stimulate saliva flow, which helps neutralize acids in the mouth and remineralize tooth enamel.
Inhibits Plaque Formation: Xylitol can disrupt the formation of dental plaque, reducing the risk of cavities and gum disease.

– Fluoride is a mineral found naturally in water sources and certain foods. It is also added to many dental products like toothpaste and mouthwash.
– Fluoride has been shown to have several important benefits for oral health:
Strengthens Tooth Enamel: Fluoride helps to remineralize weakened tooth enamel, making it more resistant to acid attacks from bacteria and acidic foods.
Reduces Risk of Cavities: Regular exposure to fluoride can significantly reduce the risk of cavities, especially when combined with good oral hygiene practices.
Inhibits Bacterial Growth: Fluoride can inhibit the growth of bacteria in dental plaque, further reducing the risk of tooth decay and gum disease.

Infants and toddlers should use fluoride-free toothpaste primarily because they are at higher risk of swallowing toothpaste while brushing. Here’s why:

Risk of Fluoride Ingestion

Young children, particularly infants and toddlers, have not fully developed the ability to spit out toothpaste after brushing. As a result, there’s a higher likelihood of them swallowing toothpaste, including the fluoride it contains. Swallowing too much fluoride can lead to a condition called fluorosis, which can cause white spots or discoloration on the teeth.

Sensitive Developmental Stage

Infants and toddlers are in a critical stage of dental development. Their teeth are still emerging, and their gums are sensitive. Fluoride-free toothpaste is gentler and less likely to cause irritation or discomfort if swallowed or if it comes into contact with delicate gum tissue.

Precautionary Measure

Since young children may not understand the importance of spitting out toothpaste or may simply lack the coordination to do so effectively, using fluoride-free toothpaste is a precautionary measure to minimize the risk of fluoride ingestion and potential fluorosis.

Focus on Mechanical Cleaning

At this stage, the focus of oral hygiene for infants and toddlers is more on mechanical cleaning rather than the fluoride benefits. Using a soft, infant-sized toothbrush and water to gently clean the teeth and gums is sufficient for removing plaque and bacteria without the need for fluoride toothpaste.

Children should transition to fluoride toothpaste when they are old enough to spit out the toothpaste after brushing, typically around the age of 3. Here’s why and when this transition should occur:

Developmental Readiness

Around the age of 3, most children have developed the necessary motor skills and understanding to spit out toothpaste rather than swallowing it. This milestone indicates that they are ready to use fluoride toothpaste safely and effectively.

Increased Risk of Tooth Decay

As children grow older, their diet and oral hygiene habits may change, increasing their susceptibility to tooth decay. Fluoride is highly effective in preventing cavities by strengthening tooth enamel and making teeth more resistant to acid attacks from bacteria and sugars in the mouth.

Added Protection

Fluoride toothpaste provides additional protection against cavities and dental decay compared to fluoride-free toothpaste. It helps remineralize weakened enamel and can reverse early signs of tooth decay, providing long-term benefits for oral health.

Establishing Good Oral Hygiene Habits

Introducing fluoride toothpaste at the right time reinforces the importance of good oral hygiene habits and sets the foundation for a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums. Children who use fluoride toothpaste as part of their daily oral care routine are less likely to experience dental problems later in life.

Hope this info has been useful in helping you understand oral care for kids!


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