A foundation for good oral health is built as early as your child’s infant days all the way through even as they become toddlers. Poor oral health in these early stages of your child’s development will favor tooth decay and bad teeth in the coming years. On the other hand, proper dental care will guarantee your child strong and healthy teeth even in the days to come. Starting this early will give them an even better chance at this. The following are some oral health tips to guide you on the right path to ensuring the best dental health for your toddler.
Teeth cleaning for your child is important before and after they start developing their teeth. This is to remove any dirt left behind during feeding. Otherwise, the dirt will build up favoring the breeding of bacteria which can cause tooth decay.
As an infant, before their teeth begin to show, you may wipe their gums and around the mouth with a wet soft cloth or gauze. As a toddler, when their teeth begin to emerge, you may use a tiny toothbrush with very little amounts of fluoride toothpaste. You will need to help them out with this as they may not be capable of brushing on their own. As they grow older, you may start educating them and slowly introducing them to proper brushing and flossing techniques.
Avoid Sleeping with a Bottle
It can be tempting to have your child go to bed with a bottle of cow milk, formula, breast milk, juice, or any other sweet drink to help them fall asleep. This is, however, not a good idea since some small amounts of these sweet liquids are bound to settle around the mouth.
The sugar from this will form acids which will cause a quick erosion of the enamel. This can lead to serious tooth decay for your toddler, usually referred to as “baby bottle tooth decay”. Hence, this is something that you should avoid. If it’s a must for them to use a bottle, then it should be one filled with water.
As a healthy diet contributes to your child’s body health, it also plays a key role when it comes to their dental health. Frequent indulgence in sugary foods and drinks exposes the teeth to sugar for long periods. This does not give the saliva enough time to get rid of the acids brought about by the sugars. This puts your child’s teeth at a higher risk of tooth decay.
For drinks, avoid giving them too many fruit juices and other sweet drinks such as soda. Instead, let them drink plenty of water, preferably boiled tap water, and plain cow milk.
When it comes to meals, you should get them used to a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables. Sugary snacks should only be taken once in a while, as a treat.
An easy and effective way to strengthen your child’s teeth is through fluoride. The easiest way to do this is by ensuring that you use fluoridated toothpaste to brush their teeth. Not all kinds of toothpaste are like this requiring you to check when purchasing.
To add to this, fluoridated water is also a good supplement. This is however only an option if your water supply provides fluoridated water. Not to worry though if this is not the case as fluoride supplements are also an option. These are usually available in the form of drops or tablets. You may consult your toddler dentist for this.
As your child turns into a toddler, then you should start considering fluoride treatments. During these treatments, your toddler dentist will apply a fluoride solution on the surface of your child’s teeth. This provides extra protection making the teeth more resistant to the tooth decay-causing acids and bacteria.
Your child should have had their first visit to a pediatric dentist by the time they are becoming a toddler. This is, however, just the beginning. Regular checkups from that time onwards are necessary for your child’s oral health. This way, your pediatric dentist will be able to spot any dental problems early enough and stop tooth decay while still in its early stages.
Good oral health should begin when your child is still young. This will prevent you from having to deal with more complicated dental issues later on. It might not be easy to implement the above dental practices on your toddler but they will have you to thank when they can show off a beautiful smile in the future.