Taking care of your kids’ dental needs isn’t terribly difficult. It’s just another routine to add to the schedule. However, it is terribly important. Any dentist will tell you that starting early and teaching your children healthy habits will ensure their lifelong dental health.
It is normal for toddlers to be hyped and challenging about night-time rituals, but this not an excuse for bad oral hygiene. Promoting dental health should always start early so that future problems can be averted.
Start As Soon As They’re Born
Even your tiny baby isn’t safe from harmful bacteria. At the second trimester of pregnancy, your baby will already have 20 primary teeth, and bacteria can’t wait to get at them. They’re inside the jaw, and that’s why you can’t see them. But, just because you can’t see them doesn’t mean they aren’t there.
You don’t have to brush your baby’s teeth. Just run a damp washcloth over their gums after feeding. Once you start to see visible teeth, you can start brushing, but use an extra-soft toothbrush that’s meant for babies.
Caring For Your Toddler’s Teeth
It’s a well-known fact that most toddlers don’t like to sit still while Mommy or Daddy sticks a toothbrush in their mouth. Your toddler will have their “baby teeth,” and even though they’re going to fall out, proper dental care is essential. Whenever possible, brush them lightly with water only before they go to sleep. A deep brushing isn’t necessary, but make sure to pick out any leftover food.
For toddlers, what they eat is more important than regular brushing. Keep them away from sugary foods that’ll damage teeth and gums. Make sure they get plenty of calcium, especially from milk. This is what they need to grow strong, healthy teeth for a lifetime of great smiles.
Great Kid’s Dental Gadgets
There are a number of kid’s dental gadgets that help make brushing fun. Some of our favorites are Spinbrush Tooth Tunes, Crayola’s Timer Lite Toothbrush, the Brush DJ app, and the Twooth Timer. If your child is a challenge at brushing time, these may be a huge help.
First Visit To The Dentist
At age 2, it’s time for the first visit to the dentist. It can be a harrowing experience for the younger children, but you can turn it into a little adventure. One thing you can do to prepare your child for the dentist is to take them along when Mommy or Daddy goes. This way, they can watch what happens and see that it’s not so bad. Just don’t scream in agony or anything like that!
Usually, with young kids, dentists will show them all the fun little gadgets they have. They pay “take them for rides in the chair,” or start off by making a game out of counting teeth. Your dentist is used to having small children, and they’ll know how to set them at ease.
Get Into Regular Check-Ups
Once your child has seen the dentist for the first time, it’s time to start regular check-ups. It’s critical to monitor child’s brushing at young ages, to make sure that they develop good brushing habits. Regular visits not only clean your kids’ teeth and look for potential problems, but they also help in educating your children about brushing and caring for their teeth. Teaching them to take it seriously is half the battle.
If you have any questions or concerns about your family’s dental care, give Dr. Mott a call. We can schedule a cleaning or checkup for you and answer any questions you may have.