The development of the oral cavity
is closely connected to the overall development of the infant.
NUK understands how critical your baby’s overall development is - after all, a doctor and dentist team founded NUK in Germany in 1947. Our philosophy is as important today as it was then:
support and promote babies’ oral development
NUK continues to work with a team of experts in the fields of pediatrics, dentistry, nutritional science, gynecology, lactation consultants and mouth, jaw and face surgery to create the best products for babies around the world. For instance, our orthodontic nipples and pacifiers are designed to be just like mom. This helps the baby’s oral development and lays a good foundation for eating, speaking and breathing in later years.
A HEALTHY MOUTH
Importance of a healthy mouth
The mouth has more muscles and nerves than any other part of the body. In fact, many of the activities that we need for our survival as well as for communication take place here in the mouth: breathing, biting, chewing, swallowing, speaking and facial expressions. For these reasons, it’s critical that you take good care of your baby’s mouth right from the start.
Development starts with the mouth
The overall development of your child is influenced in particular by the development of the mouth. Many factors affect oral development. Breastfeeding, proper breathing, movement of both the mouth and the body, basic dental hygiene and, last but not least, a healthy and balanced diet, all contribute to the healthy development of your baby’s mouth and teeth.
NUK products support oral development
NUK bottles, nipples and pacifiers are designed to be as similar to breastfeeding as possible. See how they promote the healthy development of your baby’s jaw, teeth and palate.
IMPORTANCE OF ORAL DEVELOPMENT
The various stages of development are not independent of each other. They interact to create a fine balance. If this harmony is destroyed at any point, it can have a negative impact on the overall development of the child.
Oral development affects overall development
The development of the oral cavity is closely connected to the overall development of the baby. The table (below) shows the relationship between breastfeeding, eating and speaking.
Stages of oral development
The development of your baby is ensured by the mouth and tongue right from the start. The first thing that a newborn baby learns to do is to suckle. Next comes swallowing. A few months later, the baby learns to chew, and when the baby is nearly one year old the final step is taken in oral development: baby learns to speak.
Each stage depends on the previous one having been mastered. And only once these oral functions are reached will the way be clear for the development of healthy teeth and jaw.
Relationship between breastfeeding, eating and speaking
||NOURISHMENT IN THE FORM OF SOLID FOOD
||FORMING THE SOUNDS
|TOUCHING THE BREAST WITH THE LIPS
||REMOVING FOOD FROM THE SPOON USING THE LIPS
||LABIALS: P, B, M, F, W
|BOWL-SHAPE OF THE TONGUE WHEN TOUCHING THE BREAST
||BOWL-SHAPE OF THE TONGUE WHEN POSITIONING THE FOOD READY TO BE SWALLOWED
||VOICE AND VOICELESS S AND SCH AND BRIGHT CH
|UPWARD MOVEMENT OF THE TONGUE TOWARDS THE FRONT OF THE PALATE WHEN COAXING OUT THE MILK
||UPWARD MOVEMENT OF THE TONGUE TOWARDS THE FRONT OF THE PALATE WHEN SWALLOWING
||T, D, N, L AND THE FORMATION OF A NARROW OPENING FOR THE FRICATIVES S, SCH, Z AND ROLLED R
|CLOSING THE THROAT WHEN SWALLOWING THE FOOD
||CLOSING THE THROAT WHEN SWALLOWING THE FOOD
||THROAT SOUNDS: R, G, K DARK CH
From the appearance of your baby’s first tooth, proper dental care is essential.
Stages of dental care
Between six months and a year, your baby’s first tooth will appear. When it does, you will need to keep her teeth healthy with gum and tooth cleaners designed for babies. By 12 months, your baby should have cut her first baby teeth. By 18 months, she may have her first molars and canine (longer teeth).
About toothbrushes and toothpastes
It’s never too early to teach your little one how to take care of his teeth. You will need a toothbrush with a small head, soft, rounded bristles and a thick, firm grip to prevent it from slipping. After two to four weeks, you should replace the toothbrush.
The NUK line of oral care products helps you care for your baby’s teeth and gums as well as offers relief from painful teething. Gum and toothbrushes are both functional and fun, so you can develop good habits early on. And all oral care products are BPA free.
There are special children’s toothpastes with either a minimal amount of fluoride or none at all. Toothpaste for adults should not be used until your child has started school.
Some tips on caring for baby’s new teeth
Baby teeth “reserve” places for your baby’s permanent adult teeth. That’s why it’s so important to make sure they stay healthy by:
- Brushing once a day with a baby toothbrush and toothpaste for children
- Hanging a small mirror at child’s eye level – this will not only motivate, but the teeth-cleaning will be more effective
- Teaching your child how to clean his or her teeth independently – but also thoroughly cleaning them yourself until your child is in first grade
- Not giving your little one a bottle in bed because the sugar from milk and juice can cause early tooth and gum decay
- Feeding natural food without added sugars and water instead of juice
- Making the first visit to the dentist a positive experience
- Setting a good example by brushing your teeth with your child
How to brush teeth
One method for brushing is called the “COI Technique.”
- Chewing surface:
- Place the head of the brush on the surface and then simply move back and forth.
- Your child will soon master this scrubbing action.
- Outer surfaces:
- With the brush in a horizontal position and the teeth together, start with the molar furthest back and, with a circular motion, brush the upper and lower rows of teeth, gradually working towards the front.
- On reaching the front teeth, the child must turn the brush around, then continuing along the other side in a similar fashion right to the back.
- Inner surfaces:
- Clean these surfaces with a circular motion or using strokes, working from the gums to the crown.
- Although this may initially be difficult, it is also a case of “practice makes perfect.”