6 Basic Oral Care Tips for Parents with Toddlers

Being a parent is never easy. Your child’s needs change daily. This is particularly true of toddlers. If you are like most parents, you will accept all of the help and advice offered. When it comes to your child’s health, it might seem that a new issue arises every day related to their health. One issue often overlooked by parents is their toddler’s oral health.toddler with tooth-brush - pixabayccofree -4089859 640

We have learned a vast amount in recent years about the inter-relationship of overall health and oral health. We suggest the following 6 basic oral care tips for parents with toddlers.

6. Take Care of the Baby Teeth

Prioritize care for baby teeth on a toddler just as you would their permanent teeth. Good healthcare practices should begin early. The toddler years are the perfect time to introduce appropriate dental hygiene practices. Baby teeth have several purposes. One of those purposes is to protect a space for permanent teeth. Teaching your child good oral hygiene with baby teeth is an ideal way to create a pattern for dental care as they mature. When you take care of the baby teeth you also have a perfect opportunity to teach your children about preventive care.

5. Use the Correct Amount of Fluoride Toothpaste

Studies have shown that most of us use too much toothpaste when we brush.

Toddlers need much less toothpaste than adults. All of the studies say that you should use only a tiny dollop or pea-sized amount depending on how many teeth your toddler has.

4. Do Not Give Them Sugary Drinks

Sugary drinks public enemy number one for your child’s teeth. The large amount of sugar causes decay. These sugary drinks also contain acids that weaken the protective coating on their teeth through repeated exposure. The reason we recommend brushing before bedtime is to prevent plaque buildup. It also prevents bacteria that cause decay from building up overnight. The CDC’s latest recommendation is that young children be given only milk and water to drink.

3. Do Not Leave Them with a Sippy Cup Unless It Is Water

Sippy cups are a wonderful invention. But they should be used carefully. If you plan to leave your child with a sippy cup, fill it with water. Sugary drinks promote decay, fruit juices contain harmful acids, and too much milk can also damage the teeth of young children.

2. Tell Your Family Dentist or Pediatric Dentist If Your Toddler Insists on Breathing Through his mouth

It is common to see breathing through the mouth in toddlers but it shouldn’t be encouraged. From drying out the throat and mouth (which promotes bacterial growth that can lead to tooth decay or bad breath) to possible issues with occlusion, if your toddler is breathing out of her mouth you will want to consult with your pediatric dentist or family dentist about what you can do to help your child to become a nose breather.

1. Make Regular Visits to a Pediatric Dentist or General Dentist

Despite popular lore to the contrary, toddlers need to make regularly scheduled trips to the dentist. Dental visits should begin as early as possible after baby teeth begin to emerge. Many parents choose to see a pediatric dentist, others prefer a knowledgeable family dentist. Dentists understand the development of your toddler’s teeth and other ways your child is developing. Your dentist can offer reliable guidance about how to handle common issues from teething pain to tooth care and more. A dentist can help you establish the correct oral care regimen now so that your child will have a lifetime of excellent dental health. Your dentist will be able to identify any emerging problems that could affect your child’s oral development and health. Together, you and your dentist can create a care plan for your toddler.

These six basic oral care tips for parents with toddlers should help you to get started. Your dentist can offer other suggestions and tips for your developing child. A healthy child is a happier child. Oral health is part of general health.