We all know what it takes to get our little toddlers to take care of their mouths properly after meals, let alone get them to brush their teeth twice a day! Often, a battle royal ensues, leaving the tiny people more rebellious than ever and the grown-ups deeply frustrated. Sad to say, adults lose the battle one too many times and the results? Tooth decay.
But the deed has to be done to ensure that your toddler enjoys good oral health. So let us look at what it takes.
Clean the gums:
Even before baby teeth appear gums can be cleaned with water and a soft cloth and then massaged for a while.
Brush and floss baby teeth:
Yes, even though baby teeth are going to fall out eventually, healthy baby teeth pave the way for healthy adult teeth. From the first tooth on, make it a habit to brush the tooth so your little one gets accustomed to the ritual as more teeth appear. Use fluoride toothpaste as this prevents the formation of plaque, the main culprit in tooth decay. Flossing can be introduced once the second tooth appears.
Use mouthwash only after discussing with your dentist. It would be ideal to wait until your toddler learns how to spit before you introduce a mouthwash.
As baby teeth start appearing, visit the dentist regularly so that you know how they’re progressing.
We really have to consider going easy on the sugary treats. Follow the policy of “what you don’t have, you don’t miss.” As parents, we tend to ply our little ones with sugary treats whenever we need to soothe them, or as an incentive to get them to complete a chore. This becomes a habit that is difficult to give up. Instead, start your little ones off on healthy snacks and ensure that you do the same! Children tend to imitate the eating habits of adults.
Fun dental rituals:
Children tend to pick up anything that’s fun so if you make your daily dental ritual something to look forward to, your job is half done.
Sealants help seal out decay by protecting teeth with a coating. This helps guard the chewing surfaces of teeth against food being lodged in the crevices and causing tooth decay.
Healthy dental habits = healthy teeth = healthy toddler!