Toddlers sure can be a handful. Their endless curiosity leads to lots of exploration. That also means they’re ready to soak up all source of information. So, it’s a great time to teach them habits that promote good oral health.
Here are few tips to do exactly that.
Tip 1: Brush every day with Fluoride. Fluoride helps make teeth more resistant to tooth decay. Use just a thin smear of fluoride toothpaste for children under 2 and a pea size amount for older toddlers. Let them try to brush after they turned two but make sure you finish the job. They’ll need your help until about age 6.
Tip 2: Don’t share germs. Children aren’t born with bacteria that cause tooth decay. The bacteria are transmitted to them from adults. That’s why it’s never a good idea to share a cup or spoon with your children, lick a pacifier to clean it or even kiss them on the lips.
Tip 3: Limit Sugar. The sugar your child eats also feeds oral bacteria. In the process of eating that sugar, the bacteria produce acids that dissolve tooth enamel leading to tooth decay. Saliva can neutralize those acids but only if it’s given enough time to work. That’s why it is important to limit sugar intake especially between meals.
Tip 4: No bedtime bottles. Don’t let your child go off to sleep sucking a bottle. Juice, milk, even breastmilk contains sugars that can promote tooth decay especially during sleep.
Tip 5: Discourage thumb sucking when it’s time. Sucking for comfort is a completely normal habit for babies and toddlers. But when children constantly suck a thumb or pacifier pass the age of 3, it can affect the alignment of their teeth and the development of their jaws.
Tip 6: Visit the dentist. Toddlers can benefit tremendously from regular dental visits. The most important being the age one dental visit. The dentist can check for tooth decay, evaluate brushing technique and get the little one accustomed to the dental office. Regular visit will keep their teeth healthy for years to come. If you start practicing these tips now, your child will benefit long after that wobbly walk becomes a confident stride.