Toddlers and Teeth: Starting Your Child on the Road to Excellent Dental Health
How Do I Teach My Toddler About Dental Health?
Although many parents underestimate the value of baby teeth, reasoning that they will fall out anyway, creating good dental habits in your child’s toddler years can set the stage for a lifetime of excellent dental health. A stunning 60 to 90 percent of kids develop at least one cavity in their baby teeth, and untreated childhood dental issues can cause permanent damage. Here are some tips for starting your child’s dental journey.
Model Good Choices
Your kids learn from you, so this is the time to make a new commitment to your own oral health. Drink plenty of water, brush and floss regularly, cut down on sugary foods, and visit the dentist twice a year. Your kids will grow up viewing dental care as just a regular part of life.
Make Brushing and Flossing Normal
Within the first few days after your new baby is born, start wiping his gums with sterile gauze or a clean, damp cloth. When the first tooth emerges, start gently brushing it with a soft-bristled, child-sized toothbrush and a dab of toothpaste. When two teeth touch, start flossing them. Your child should never remember a time when oral hygiene didn’t happen every single day.
See the Doctor
Pediatricians typically manage infants’ first and second dental visits, which should occur around their first and second birthdays. These are excellent opportunities to learn how to properly brush the baby’s teeth and manage teething issues, as well as to ask any additional questions.
It’s fine to give your kids milk or fruit juice, but keep an eye on the quantities. Teach your baby to drink plain water at naptime and bedtime so that it will feel normal as she grows up. When your child transitions to solid foods, focus on cheese, fruit, and other healthier options. When you allow your child to eat sugary snacks or drink sweet beverages, be sure to brush her teeth right away, or at least rinse her mouth thoroughly with plain water.
Visit the Dentist
Most kids are able to brush their own teeth with help by the age of three. This is the appropriate time to schedule a first visit to the dentist. The goal is to let your child get comfortable in the office without building stress. Some kids are ready for a cleaning and an exam during this visit, while others will just get a quick tour of the office and meet the staff.
After the first visit, consider bringing your child to your appointments to build familiarity. We will also start scheduling your child for his own appointments. We will be by your kids’ side as they grow up, dealing with any emergencies that arise and ensuring that their dental health is the best it can possibly be.
Want to Learn More?
If you want to learn more about how we can keep your entire family’s smiles in tip top shape, contact Savannah Dental Solutions today at (912) 354-1366 for more information or to schedule an appointment.