Teeth and brushing tips
By 6 months N had the average 2 teeth (bottom front), September he had a third, and October he’s been flying. The 3 front top ones joined his first top one, and last night the next bottom one cut through.
We’ve been fairly lucky – a few nasty stinky poos, generally a bit grouchy & cry-y over the afternoon before they cut, lots of non-stop dribbling (but he’s been doing that since 3 months – it doesn’t seem to abate even at non-teething times) and chewing. But apart from that, no sleeping problems at night or naptimes, and no going off his food/milk.
Not sure whether N’s amber teething anklet is helping minimise the symptoms, but I’m happy to keep it on just in case; we only really use Ashton & Parsons (we joke he has baby coke!) powder or teething gels (Dentinox or Bonjella) when he’s really grouchy & screamy.
So now N has 7 teeth, and lots more bumps in his gums although I think that’s just the teeth moving about. Soon we’re going to have grins which have more than just the 2 bottom teeth showing!
I’ve also been trying to get him used to having his teeth brushed. Not very successfully as a) he’s too independent and won’t let me put the brush inside his mouth for long and b) I think teething means his gums are too sensitive so I can’t touch them. However, he’s tried a series of brushes – here’s my tooth brushing tips and guidance:
- a brush – baby teething brush which is more like an infant chewing brush that’s easy to hold
- a Wisdom easy hold brush with wider handle and soft parts to hold so it’s comfy and easier for babies to grip and
- a Colgate slim toothbrush that we were sent to trial as part of the Tesco Mums Choice panel
With the first two we’d been using Aquafresh milk teeth toothpaste – think I’d got the sample in a baby show goodie bag or such like. He doesn’t mind that one (although he only has a smear), and is quite happy chewing away on both of the first two toothbrushes. I think the wideness of the handle helps him hold on and he can easily pass it from hand to hand as he wants.
We’ve also tried the Colgate Smiles my first toothpaste. This was really minty in smell and taste, and it seems to give N a shock each time he puts it in his mouth. It’s more gel like than the old style white Aquafresh toothpaste so tends to get stuck in the brush more than the other one. The Colgate brush is much slimmer to hold onto. He’s fine with it now, but when he first started using it, he would put too much in his mouth and gag, whereas a wider handle seems to prevent him being able to put so much into his mouth by accident. I think we’ll be going back to the Aquafresh milk teeth toothpaste for the time being. It seems less harsh in smell & strength and he doesn’t pull faces each time he uses it. I think he copes better with the wider handled brush so we’ll probably continue using that, although we do now have a spare that I can use for him.
I’ve tried ‘brushing’ his teeth as well as letting him do it. Before he wouldn’t let go of the toothbrush and let me put it anywhere near his mouth, but latterly with the Colgate one I’ve been able to put it inside his mouth and start to brush his teeth a little bit. In fact he seems to enjoy it (although I can only do about 4 strokes before he wants it removed). I think he’s still happier trying to just chew it himself, but it’s a start and the more we do it the more he’ll learn & it’ll become more natural for him when he comes to cleaning his teeth properly himself.
I’ve also heard that just putting a smear of toothpaste on a muslin or piece of gauze is fine to start with if they won’t let a brush near them.
Hopefully now, we’ve got a bit of a breather before the next teeth begin to appear.
Disclosure: We were sent some products to try out as part of the Mums Choice panel.