Oral Health for Toddlers: 10 Ways to Protect Your Child’s Teeth

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As parents, your child’s overall health is your top priority. But what about the teeth? Teaching your child proper and consistent oral care while they are young is an investment in his health. Take the lead and be a role model to your kids by taking good care of your teeth because it will send a message to your child that oral health is something to be valued.

Dental caries or cavities are prevalent in toddlers, but the good news is, these are also preventable. To help your kids protect their teeth and gums, and significantly reduce the risk of getting cavities, follow these steps:

1. Start Early

Help your child brush their teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. Floss their teeth once daily when teeth are starting to sit next to each other. Ensure that floss is inserted between teeth properly and should reach the gum line to remove plaque that causes tooth decay or cavity.

2. Let Them Choose Their Toothbrush

Let your child pick his toothbrush. It can be his favorite character or color. This way, it will make brushing more fun. Ensure that toothbrush is soft-bristled and perfect for his or her age. The novelty of electric toothbrushes might also appeal to your child as some give a slightly better clean than manual toothbrushes. If you are using an electric toothbrush, avoid brushing in circles. Keep your hands still as you clean the mouth and guide the toothbrush across the child’s teeth and gums.

3. Brush After Every Meal

Brushing your child’s teeth 30 minutes after every meal can reduce the sugar and plaque build-up inside their mouth.

4. Finish with Water

When giving your child a snack, follow up with water to keep them hydrated and wash off any leftover food in his mouth that can cause a cavity.

5. Watch their Diet

Kids need a balanced and nutritious diet for their teeth to be cavity resistant and to develop properly. Most toddlers are drawn to sweet foods full of refined carbohydrates. Cavity causing foods may be found inside their lunchboxes as sugar lurks in places you would not expect, such as in cereals or sports drinks. Pack your kid’s lunch box with healthy food choices such as apples or cheese. Nutritious food gives your child the fuel they need to play and learn, at the same time, keeping their teeth healthy as well.

6. Limit Snacking

Snacking in between meals limits the amount of time saliva has to wash away food. More so, instead of giving snacks high in sugar, offer fruits or vegetables because sugar causes high levels of acid that destroys tooth enamel leading to tooth decay.

7. Avoid Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

Don’t let your child consume his milk in a bottle before sleeping. Though milk is packed with nutrients, it also has sugar. When sugar sits on their tooth for an extended period, this may cause holes in their teeth, leading to tooth decay.

8. Ditch the Pacifier

Pacifiers and thumb sucking are still prevalent in toddlers. While kids often use them to help them self-soothe, it can do a lot of damage in your child’s mouth. Try to eliminate the pacifier before the age of three to minimize dental issues. Though thumb-sucking can be a bit more challenging to stop, encouraging your child to eradicate the habit early on can be a big help.

9. Don’t Share Utensils

The British Association of Dental Therapists is warning that parents or caregivers do not share utensils or blowing kids’ food as it can potentially increase the risk of transferring bacteria, causing a cavity.

10. Visit your Pediatric Dentist Regularly

Early appointments to your pediatric dentist are necessary to ensure that your child’s teeth are healthy and will develop correctly. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that the first visit of children is before they turn one year old or at least six months after their first tooth pops.

We, at Kidsmile, are passionately dedicated to providing quality dental care for your child. Our goal is to partner with you to help your child establish and achieve excellent oral health.

You can message us here or via our social media accounts for an initial consultation or in booking your appointment.

Sources:

https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/life-stages/infant-kids/oral-health-for-children

https://www.dentistry.co.uk/2015/07/31/warning-mothers-sharing-spoons-toddlers/

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