Oral health tools for tots

June 5, 2013
After the recent birth of my first grandchild, I became curious about the latest and greatest oral care products for infants and toddlers. I discovered some cool products that are available for the wee ones.

After the recent birth of my first grandchild, I became curious about the latest and greatest oral care products for infants and toddlers. I discovered some cool products that are available for the wee ones. Many of them are worthy of mention. Here are my only a few of my favorites!

Sophie the Giraffe by Vulli

A baby may begin teething as early as three months so good safe teething toys are a must. My grandson Marshall's favorite teething toy is a charming giraffe named Sophie. She is made of 100% all natural rubber derived from the sap of the Hevea tree. Sophie has bright contrasting spots that are applied with food paint so she's safe to chew. She's really soft and has lots of chewable parts such as
the ears, legs, and horns. Sophie comes in two designs, a small teether, approximately 4 inches and a larger teething toy approximately 7 inches (see photo). The larger toy is slender and flexible, and she laughs with a squeak when her body is squeezed.

According to the manufacturer, Sophie the Giraffe has been a huge success as baby's first toy because its design stimulates all of baby's senses from the age of three months. For example:

  • Sight: Sophie's contrasting eye-catching spots provide visual stimulation
  • Hearing: Sophie's squeaker stimulates hearing early on and later helps baby to understand cause and effect
  • Taste: 100% natural rubber and food paint are safe, and Sophie's soft texture is perfect for soothing sore gums
  • Touch: Sophie's soft feel stimulates physiological and emotional response that soothe the baby and promote healthy growth and well-being
  • Smell: the singular scent of natural rubber makes Sophie easy for baby to identify among other toys
  • Dexterity: Sophie's shape and size are perfect for baby's small hands, she is lightweight and easy for baby to grip

These toys are really amazing! Even more amazing is that Sophie is 52 years old. She was born in Paris on May 25, 1961. Vulli, a French company based in Rumilly near the Swiss border, produces Sophie and a plethora of other unique items. Staying true to the traditional means of production, which began over 50 years ago, involves more than 14 manual operations. These toys are free of BPA and phthalates. I encourage you to visit to their website (www.sophiegiraffeusa.com) and discover Sophie for yourself along with their other unique products.

Baby Banana Brushes by Baby Banana

We've all seen a toddler running with a toothbrush in their mouth, and we've all cringed. I like this product created by a grandmother/mother team after one of their children tripped and fell on his toothbrush puncturing the roof of his mouth. This fun brush is flexible and bendable to prevent injury. Made of 100% medical grade silicone, this "banana" is durable and dishwasher safe. The Baby Banana brush has small soft bristles to clean teeth and massage gums and is designed for children over 12 months of age.

Baby Banana also comes in a teether/toothbrush for children under 12 months of age (see photo). The "a-peel-ing" handles are easy for baby to hold. Also made of 100% medical grade silicone and dishwasher safe, the super soft bristles provide teething comfort and gentle cleaning for newly erupted teeth. In addition, Baby Banana offers the Sharky Brush and OctoBrush. You can check out all their products at www.babybananabrushes.com.

There are a lot of choices when it comes to the toothbrush/teether combo. Here are two of them.

Bite & Brush by MAM

While I have seen this name on a pacifier, I had no idea they had so many different baby products. MAM was founded in Vienna in 1976, and their first pacifier was sold that same year in Austria. MAM's products arrived in the United States in 2008. Please visit their website (www.mambaby.com) to check out their wide variety of products, including training toothbrushes and read about their dental health initiative.

The Bite & Brush got my attention because of the design. It has soft bristles in an arch form designed for cleaning while chewing. The ring handle makes it easy for baby grab and hold, and it has different textures and shapes for teething. All products are BPA-free.

Infant Safety Brush by Tess Oral Health

Designed as an infant toothbrush and teething ring in one, the shape and size prevent over insertion. This safety brush has a ring handle for easy control and extra-soft .006-inch bristles to ensure gentle cleaning. The brush comes in six different colors in a box of 24.

Tess Oral Health has many other product offerings and home care kits that you will want to check out. They specialize in custom imprinted, personalized and branded oral hygiene products and kits. Check it out at www.tessoralhealth.com

Tooth Tissues by My Dentist's Choice

Practicing dentists and parents of two little girls, Drs. Grace Lo and Jonathan Korn, created Tooth Tissues. These easy to use disposable tissues are textured for plaque removal from the teeth and gums. They have a neutral flavor so taste is not an issue for baby. Tooth Tissues are fluoride, paraben, and sugar free, but they do contain xylitol. In fact, in 2012 Tooth Tissues obtained the distinction of being certified natural by the Natural Products Association. The wipes are all bamboo and come in an oatmeal color.

As reported by the manufacturer, the complete ingredients are: water, glycerin, aloe barbadensis leaf juice, hydrated silica, xylitol, xanthan gum, sodium levulinate, sodium phytate, and potassium sorbate. (Sodium levulinate is a corn-derived preservative that is 100% natural and eco-friendly. Sodium phytate is a rice bran derivative that is a stabilizer. It is 100% natural and eco-friendly.) Check out Tooth Tissues at www.toothtissues.com.

Kid's Tooth Gel by Spry

This all-natural gel was designed with infants and toddlers in mind. Now even our youngest patients can receive the proven oral health benefits of xylitol when they use Kid's Tooth Gel. According to the manufacturer, the ingredients are: purified water, xylitol, calcium glycerophosphate, cellulose gum for thickening, and grapefruit seed extract as a preservative.

The gel can be applied to a cotton swab or a toothbrush and used to clean the teeth and gums. It only takes a few drops so it's much less mess than toothpaste, and it's safe to swallow. Spry has a wide variety of products that feature xylitol and are part of their Dental Defense System. Check out their website at www.xlear.com

As always, write me at [email protected], I enjoy hearing from you! RDH

KIM MILLER, RDH, BSDH, is the co-founder of PerioFrogz.com, an information-based website providing free current oral-systemic research summaries and patient education downloads. Kim is also a coach with Inspired Hygiene, delivering customized hands-on training. She speaks internationally, writes writes articles and webinars, and enjoys clinical dental hygiene. Kim lives in Arizona and welcomes you to contact her at [email protected].

More RDH Articles
Past RDH Issues