Recently Andrew seems to have been in pain when we’ve been brushing his teeth. I’m guessing it’s because he’s teething, because generally he’s been very good at letting us brush his teeth right from when his first ones came through. And in general he hasn’t seemed to suffer too much compared to other babies and toddlers we know when teething. It hasn’t really stopped him sleeping at night, nor put him off his food (that takes quite a lot to do!), and apart from the odd grizzly moment, slightly runnier nappies and chewing his hands, it hasn’t bothered him terribly. His first teeth didn’t come through until he was 10 months old, which is quite late, but since then he’s had something come through pretty much most of the time, bit by bit. Now he’s just got his canines and second molars to go, which I can imagine would be quite painful compared to others, because the canines are pointier and the molars are bigger.
It was just around the time that we were really struggling to get him to open his mouth without screaming so that we could get a toothbrush even near his teeth, that I was contacted by Dentinox, manufacturer of teething (and other baby) products, to ask if I would like to review any of their products. When I saw that there was a teething toothpaste and toothbrush and on offer, I thought that these would be perfect to try. I just didn’t know what else to do about brushing his teeth: I didn’t want to give up, but also didn’t want to put him off completely by making it such an ordeal for him every time we brushed his teeth. I’d even tried just letting him play with the toothbrush before and/or after the attempted brushings, all to no avail. So anything I could try was worth a go.
What are the products like?
The toothbrush is a rubber tube, a bit like a long thimble, that goes over your finger, and you use your finger to do the brushing. I found this much easier than using a normal brush, because I could feel exactly where I was brushing, rather than trying to peer into the darkness of his mouth whilst trying to restrain him and keep his mouth open – not very easy with only two hands, one of which is holding a relatively long brush (even baby toothbrushes are quite long compared to the size of their mouth at that age).
It says to use circular movements when brushing. I have to say I’m not sure I’ve got the hang of that, because even though he’s a lot more willing to let us brush with this brush and paste, I still don’t feel like I have loads of time to concentrate on the precise action that I’m doing, before he starts to wriggle. I just try to brush as well as I can, because I think any brushing is better than no brushing!
The bristles are made of the same rubber as the tube bit, and feel a lot gentler when I rub them against my skin compared to even Andrew’s soft baby toothbrush that we were using before. The toothpaste is made with clove oil, which claims to ease teething pains; as a result, it smells lovely (to me!) and tastes very mild (I tried a little bit myself to see), not like the usual minty taste of toothpaste, even the very mild mint of baby toothpastes.
When did we use them?
We used the toothbrush and toothpaste every morning and every evening, just as we normally do. There are no particular instructions on the box about frequency of brushing, but I’m presuming it’s just the usual recommended frequency that you see in the parenting books and children’s oral health leaflets etc.
What age are they for?
The box says that the products are for age 0-2 years. As Andrew is 18 months, he still fits well and truly within this range. At the rate he’s going, most of his teeth should be through by 24 months, but the second molars could take up to nearly age 3 to erupt. I’m not sure whether there is a reason why it couldn’t be used over age 2 though – my guess is something to do with fluoride levels, as these presumably increase in pastes that are intended for older children and then adults even more. Our usual baby toothpaste also says suitable for 0-2 years, so I think it’s pretty standard. If he does have trouble with us brushing his teeth beyond 2 years, I’ll look into this further, though maybe just using the fingertip brush and paste for 3+ years would work.
Any things to watch out for?
The one (slight) downside that I can see is that you have to watch out for your finger being bitten! When I say bitten, I mean ‘chewed on’ or ‘teethed on’ really. It hasn’t happened often, and when it has, it’s not that he’s deliberately bitten me like he’d bite some food, but more of a ‘oooh, this rubbery thing in my mouth feels good to chew on/ teethe on a bit like my teething toy’ kind of action. Now that I know of this possibility, I’ve been able to watch out for it in advance, which has helped.
How much do they cost?
The toothbrush and toothpaste have a RRP of £3.05, and you can buy them from most pharmacies (as the daughter of previous owners of an independent pharmacy, I’m not going to name the chains that you all know anyway!) I think that this is a good price for a 30ml tube of toothpaste as well as a brush. As you only need a pea-sized amount of paste each time, the tube will last a long time, and I presume the brush will wear out less quickly than an ordinary bristled toothbrush.
My overall opinion of the products…
We definitely noticed the difference between these products and his existing toothbrush and paste on the very first brushing session: there were no tears! This was quite a change from recent brushings, so overall I am very happy with the toothbrush and paste, and would recommend them for teething toddlers (and babies) who are having issues with teeth brushing.
I was also sent some Dentinox teething gel, but as Andrew generally hasn’t seemed too bothered by his teething apart from the brushing, I haven’t had chance to use it yet. If I do find that we need to try it, I’ll do a separate review later.
I have received no financial reward for reviewing these products (other than receiving the products themselves free of charge), and all views are my own, based on what I experienced using the products.