Parents with toddlers have their hands full and with the arrival of new teeth, there are some important items to keep in mind about your toddler’s teeth. Let’s take a look below at some of the best habits to build at this stage of life.
Floss Toddler’s Teeth
Once your child has teeth touching each other in their mouth, it is time to start flossing. Toddlers obviously cannot floss themselves, and at this stage in the child’s life it is essential that parents help to floss their toddler’s teeth and help to build the habit of flossing once a day. Toddlers can be stubborn and so it pays to be consistent with flossing every day so that the habit can be built over time as a necessary part of their oral hygiene routine.
Parents need to lead the flossing routine and should explain to their child the importance of this habit and how it helps to reach the plaque and foods that are stuck between the teeth and cannot be reached simply by brushing.
Once your child starts talking, they may want to express their desire for certain foods. This often means treats and juice for toddlers. As a parent, it is important to know that juice and treats usually contain a fair amount of sugar that is harmful to teeth if left overnight. This brings home the importance of brushing every night to ensure sugar does not stay on the teeth while they sleep.
It is also important for parents to promote the importance of water for hydration. Not only does hydration help to keep away bad breath, but habituating your child to drinking water (and not juice) will help their overall oral health and dietary habits in the long run.
Snacking is fine and treats as well. The goal is not to eliminate unhealthy foods altogether, but rather to instill good habits in your toddler while they are still young.
Bedtime routine and brushing
Every parent knows that bedtime for toddlers can be chaotic. With everyone tired, it is often appealing to try to get your child to bed and skip brushing altogether. Try not to do this on a frequent basis as it hurts the development of a proper bedtime routine of flossing and brushing. Since toddlers respond to routine, bedtime is an ideal time to build the flossing and brushing habits of your child.
Additionally, the oral hygiene benefits of flossing and brushing before bed are numerous, with the most important factor being that foods and sugars are cleaned from the mouth before your child goes to rest for the night. Since the acids produced by bacteria in the mouth that is consuming sugars are harmful for your child’s teeth, it is essential to clean your child’s teeth to minimize any damage that can occur overnight. Over time, this can lead to tooth decay, pain and cavities.
Parenting a toddler can be hectic at times, but if you keep these simple oral hygiene principles in mind, you should reap the rewards of a clean checkup next time your child visits their pediatric dentist.