You may recall that I interviewed Pediatric Dentist Michael Hanna, a spokesperson for the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, in late November to bring you tips about caring for your baby's teeth. This is a follow-up post for moms who are still struggling to make brushing teeth a part of their family's routine...perhaps due to a toddler's "squirminess" or resistance.
As a quick reminder, babies should have their teeth brushed twice a day pretty much as soon as teeth appear and should visit a pediatric dentist no later than their first birthday.
If you find that your baby is resistant to the toothbrush, you might want to try Spiffies Tooth Wipes, a convenient disposable wipe that parents can use "anytime or anywhere...to clean baby's teeth." Created by Dr. Ray Wagner, a pediatrician who practices in Southern Arizona, Spiffies are made with parents in mind.
Here's another "made-up" interview (I came up with the questions; the Spiffies website delivered the answers).
Q. Does brushing really matter for babies? After all, those baby teeth are going to fall out anyway...
A. "Cavity causing bacteria live in plaque around the teeth. Once the bacteria become established in the baby's mouth, they become difficult to remove. In fact, most children with early childhood tooth decay transfer this infection to their permanent teeth."
Q. Are the wipes really as effective as a toothbrush?
A. "A recent clinical study showed that Spiffies are as effective as brushing for removing dental plaque from baby teeth. In addition, this study demonstrated that both moms and babies preferred the wipes to brushing, especially before bedtime."
Q. I brush my baby's teeth, but I sometimes forget to brush and/or floss and/or go to the dentist regularly myself. How will this effect my baby?
A. "Mom and Dad can transmit cavity causing bacteria to baby when they kiss their baby, or taste food with the same spoon the baby uses."
Spiffies Wipes come in three different flavors: Mango, Grape, and Apple...and are designed for children four months and older.
Surprisingly, my daughter doesn't mind getting her teeth "spiffied" at all. I give her gums and teeth a good wipe-down for bed as part of our routine and it seems to work out nicely.
I let my daughter brush her own teeth in the morning because she LOVES brushing her teeth. She often points at her toothbrush and wants to brush, brush, brush...especially when my husband and I are brushing ours (another good reason to make your own dental hygiene a priority - toddlers love to copy their moms). For us, the wipes are a convenience item - perfect for travel or times when we're on-the-go, but not necessary for every day use. But some parents might find that they want to use them every day, twice-a-day.
Spiffies are sold at a variety of retailers across the U.S.
WIN IT! One winner will receive 3 boxes of Spiffies, along with a small booklet entitled The Baby Tooth Care Guide. To enter, simply leave a comment and your e-mail address on this post prior to Tuesday, Jan. 15, at midnight. The winner will be contacted and announced on Wednesday, Jan. 16. * Winner must provide a U.S. mailing address.
* UPDATE * The winner is #29 Becca. Congratulations!