Wednesday, 28 September 2016

taking care of your little monster's pearly whites

My little monster got his first tooth (teeth really- 2 came in at the same time) at 4 months and then quickly popped out 5 more before 9 months- he's now on his 8th!! Obviously I started to research how to keep those little nibblers health. I learnt that these first teeth are not only important for chewing and talking, but they also preserve the spacing for the permanent ones and allow for proper jaw bone and muscle development - amazing! 

Okay, so how, what and when to properly care for these pearly whites!?!  

I read that most infants foods easily wash off their teeth with a little drink of water after meals, but that it's a good idea to introduce a toothbrush as soon as possible, so baby can get used to having it in his mouth. This made me laugh, as my baby (like most) loves putting long pointy objects in his mouth already and there is no need to get him "used" to anything. But none the less, I thought I’d be a good parent and got suckered into buying a teething ring like toothbrush, which my little monster never used on his own and never let me go near his mouth with, let alone “brush” his teeth with it- money not well spent!

Photo credit: Dollface Photos/Moment/Getty Images
The advise on the internet got even more laughable when stating: You probably won't need to use the brush to actually clean baby's teeth until he's eating only table foods (around 18 months), but you will need to gently clean your child's teeth with a toothbrush and some bicarbonate of soda if they have eaten sticky, sugary foods. Okay- most of you know I’m a hippy about nutrition and hygiene, so my 9 month old won’t be getting much (if any) sticky, sugary foods. If he’s not having these sticky, sugary foods, does that mean no need to “brush” these cute pearly whites(?) Probable not, but I won’t be introducing a toothbrush to him so he get’s used to having it in his mouth (LOL, again). 

My little monster chews on EVERYTHING, so I’m guessing he’s giving those pearly whites a good clean all day. But I’ll be a good parent and introduce a “brushing” routine into our bed time schedule! I've now got him a long pointy baby/kids toothbrush and I'm sure he'll scream down the house when I take it way from him, until he's old enough to NOT want to brush his teeth ;)

I was pleased at least most of the advise recommends only brushing with bicarbonate of soda or a pea-size amount of non-fluoride toothpaste until your baby is old enough not to swallow the toothpaste. We switched to a fluoride free toothpaste a few years ago & have a filter that gets ride of it in our drinking water. While I'm not going to get involved in a great fluoride debate, here's the basics of why we dramatically dropped it from lives and we’ll do our best to keep it out of our baby’s body:

Firstly, while I'm sure fluoride does help to prevent tooth decay, I believe that our clean way of eating mitigates the same risk factors that fluoride is supposed to treat. Secondly (and probably the main reason) is the fact that fluoride is a drug. Many of us are grateful for the targeted cure drugs give us and forget (or don't know about) the endocrine disrupting factors that those drugs can have throughout the body (I know I thought this way for most of my life). When we use fluoride (in toothpaste or in our water) for dental health, it can also have a negative effect on other areas of our bodies including bones, brain, thyroid gland, pineal gland and even your blood sugar levels (Fluoride Action Network, National Research Council Findings 2006). For a more in-depth article about fluoride check out Fluoride: Natural Cavity Prevention or Hazardous Chemical Waste?

I must say my husband struggled with the loss of “mintyness” when we changed to a fluoride free toothpaste, 
so I was happy to discover GRIN’s 100% Natural toothpaste in Cool Mint 
and when our little monster starts to use toothpaste, he'll be using GRIN’s 100% Natural Kids toothpaste
You can get a tube of GRIN's 100% Natural Toothpaste from Functional Self

 Please remember that this is simply my story and what I have gone through. These are my opinions, that I have formed over the years, through trial and error, study, reading, listening and observing. I am open to change, challenges and new scientific developments. What works for me, may not work for you. I am not a doctor and all medical advice, should be gotten from a qualified professional. If you feel like your doctor isn't reading from the same nutrition and lifestyle book as you are (or want to be), go find one that is! 

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