Dental Tips for Toddlers
Teaching little ones to start brushing is critical from the time they are born.
Parents can start by brushing their little one’s gums. You can use water on a baby toothbrush or a soft baby cloth and gently brush or wipe their gums. Once your baby gets teeth, parents should brush their baby’s teeth twice a day. Parents should use toothpaste with fluoride for their baby’s teeth. It’s important to start your toddler’s tooth care early to prevent tooth decay.
Parents should take their child to their first dental appointment by the time they are one year old. Parents can save money in the long run by taking their kids to dentists early. Parents can also begin flossing their toddler’s teeth when two of their teeth start touching each other. Your dentist can give you booklets on the techniques of flossing your child’s teeth. Remember to brush and floss their teeth twice a day and before bedtime. Don’t give them a bottle of juice with sugar in it because the sugar sits on their teeth and that’s how decay starts. You can give your child water before bedtime.
Try to get your toddler to drink out of a cup and make sure you limit the juice. Juice contains more sugar and it tends to cause tooth decay. Try to offer your child milk and water if they are thirsty. The back teeth are the first ones to decay so brushing is important.
Pacifiers are ok to let your children have but by age two, try and have Santa Claus take it with him on his way because other children need one. This usually works when reasoning with your child. Pacifiers cause the teeth to line up incorrectly and can also change the shape of the inside of the mouth and how the child swallows. By age 7, children have had to start wearing apparatuses for the roof of their mouth, because they swallow the wrong way. This is because they either used pacifiers or thumb sucking for too long.
As your children grow, make sure you are regimented when it comes to brushing, flossing and rinsing. Don’t let them fool you and if they don’t want to cooperate, tell them they don’t have a choice. Have them brush their teeth right after dinner instead of before bed when they are more likely to fall asleep before they brush their teeth.
There are many flavors of toothpaste out now. Let your child age 5 or older pick out their own toothpaste flavor. Make sure they are approved by the American Dental Association. You can also pick a few little trinkets out from The Dollar store and try and motivate your child by offering them a sticker, an eraser, pencil or balls, and balloons. There are many things you can get at The Dollar Store for a buck that will interest your child. You can use these trinkets as a form of bribery or cooperation to get your toddler to brush their teeth without whining.
It’s important to make dental hygiene fun for your kids so you can let them choose their favorite toothbrush and make sure they pick a soft one. Toothbrushes for kids come in different colors and have different characters so it’s more fun for them to brush.
You can also read books about the dentist or watch some videos that teach them about the importance of dental hygiene. Use a timer and set it for a few minutes or you can also read a small book to keep track of time. When you take your child to the dentist for the first time, the dentist will give them their choice of flavor of toothpaste for cleaning their teeth. They will also give them a toothbrush, floss and a small tube of toothpaste. You can get them a reward too for being good at the dentists.
Fluoride is essential to dental health. It’s an important element in reducing cavities in teeth. It also makes teeth strong by making the enamel harder on teeth. This why fluoride is important in drinking water and this is how your child gets it. Many cities by law are required to add fluoride to their drinking water. If your water does not contain fluoride, your child should be taking an oral fluoride supplement. Too much fluoride could cause your child’s teeth to stain and can be harmful if swallowed.
Your child will need help brushing for quite a while. Usually, by age 7 or 8 years old, they can start using a larger toothbrush. You should change toothbrushes every 3 to 6 months or when the bristles look worn down. Make sure you keep the toilet lid down in the bathroom if your toothbrushes are kept in the bathroom. This is more sanitary and teaches your child to close the lid as well and explain about germs from flushing that float around. Make sure your child flosses their teeth once a day at least and talk to them about gum disease. Food gets caught underneath the tooth and can cause gingivitis and cause the gums to turn red. If you don’t floss every day or after every meal, gum disease can happen when you get older.
Cavities are holes in your teeth that form from eating sugary foods and not brushing enough. Genetics also play a big factor in healthy teeth because tooth buds are actually formed when the fetus is 6 weeks along in the womb. It’s also important to eat healthy when a mother is pregnant because this is what builds healthy bones, strong teeth, and good skin. Cavities are common in small children because it’s hard for kids to brush between their teeth. Look for white spots or brown areas on your child’s teeth to see if they have cavities developing.
Diet is very important when it comes to your child. Kids that eat food with a lot of sugar or drink sugary drinks are at a higher risk for cavities. There are so many healthy food choices that parents can find online to feed to their children. Don’t give your kids soda, or too many sweetened beverages. Watch out for too much candy and give your child a healthy snack between meals. If your child does have sugar once in a while, make sure they brush their teeth as soon as possible. Many kids can take their toothbrushes and toothpaste with them to school and brush after lunch.
It’s ok to let older kids chew gum because there are some benefits from it. Gum chewing can strengthen the jaw, produce more saliva, clean food out between teeth, help balance acid that cause tooth decay and keep breath fresh.
The American Dental Association says a child should see a dentist by their first birthday. The dentist can tell if the child is going to have problems earlier in life with their teeth. When kids start seeing a dentist at a young age, your child will be more comfortable and they will start to learn the importance of lifelong good habits of taking care of their teeth. Kids and adults should see a dentist twice a year for a checkup and it’s important to call the dentist if your child complains of a toothache, loses a permanent tooth or has an infection in their mouth. If you find a permanent tooth, put the tooth in milk and take it to the dentist. The dentist might be able to reattach the child’s permanent tooth. It’s better to be safe than sorry.