Caring for Your Toddler’s Teeth
Just because your toddler’s baby teeth will one day end up in the tooth fairy’s collection, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take the time to properly care for them. Brushing is needed to help remove build-up on teeth that results from sugars found in juice and many foods.
According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, studies show that children with poor oral health, often beginning in the toddler years, have decreased school performance, poor social relationships and less success later in life. Children experiencing pain from decayed teeth are distracted and unable to concentrate on schoolwork.
Tips for caring for first teeth include:
- Floss when at least two teeth begin to touch.
- Start dental visits by a child’s first birthday and continue with regular visits after that. Pleasant visits to the dental office promote the establishment of trust and confidence in your child that will last a lifetime.
- Make brushing time more fun and inviting by allowing your toddler to bring a ‘friend’, such as a favorite stuffed animal or doll, to the sink so she can have her teeth brushed too.
- Keep your toddler brushing for as long as it takes you to sing Happy Birthday.
- Choose a toothbrush with soft bristles.
Finally, while fluoride can be an important and effective tool in cavity prevention, it can be a problem for toddlers who haven’t yet learned to spit out the toothpaste. Excessive fluoride consumption can result in unsightly spotting of permanent teeth. Until children are able to spit out the toothpaste, parents should consider using fluoride-free toothpaste, such as Orajel Toddler Training toothpaste, which is safe if swallowed, when used as directed.
Getting your child off to an early start by making brushing fun and using the correct techniques are important steps on the road to teaching your child healthy dental habits for a lifetime.