Practical Oral Hygiene Care for Parents with Toddlers
Being a parent to toddlers can be a fun and busy time. As parents, we want to make sure that our children stay active and healthy. As they make small growth milestone, by eating their first bite of broccoli, ride a bike, use the potty all on their own, or try brushing their teeth for the first time, you want to make good oral hygiene habit a part of the many milestones. As busy as parents are today, good oral hygiene can take a backseat which can lead to tooth decay or the need for major dental work.
Here are five practical tips to help busy parents like you.
- Take care of those baby teeth. Yes, those first baby teeth will eventually come out, but that does not mean that those little teeth are not necessary. Early in this stage of development, toddlers are learning how to use their teeth to eat and chew. Keeping cavities and toothache away will help develop good eating habits early. When children don’t experience toothaches, they will have more of an appetite to eat.
- Brush toddler’s teeth with a soft toothbrush and children toothpaste containing fluoride. Start brushing as soon as the first tooth erupts, and brushing with the right amount of fluoride toothpaste will help strengthen the teeth. Having your toddler brush their teeth along with you will promote good oral hygiene practice.
- No sugary foods or drinks at bedtime. Before bedtime, you should avoid giving your toddler sweet juices, milk, or candy. Allowing them to eat and drink before bedtime can lead to cavities or early childhood caries. The sugar in these foods sit inside the mouth and cause bacteria to thrive, leading to toothaches and cavities.
- Avoid filling sippy cups with juices and long-term use. Sippy cups are designed to help transition your toddler to use cups. You should avoid letting your toddler drink from sippy cups long-term. When toddlers sip from sippy cups, the sugars from juices come into contact with the teeth and mouth for extended periods and can lead to tooth decay. If your toddler will only drink from a sippy cup, it should only be filled with water.
- Take your toddler to a pediatric dentist. Regular checkup with a specialist can detect dental problems early before they become significant issues. Preventive care can cost you less than major dental work.
Be sure to contact California Dental Group at (800) 407-0161 for your child’s next dental appointment.