Having a toddler can be an exciting and hectic time, which can make it hard to remember to practice proper dental steps with your child. However, it is very important to take care of your toddler’s teeth, as tooth decay can start to develop as soon as her first tooth surfaces, which could be at around six months of age. Read on for some tips on how to care for your toddler’s teeth to ensure that they are healthy.
Brushing and Flossing
Remember that your toddler’s teeth need brushing just like yours do. As soon as your baby’s first tooth emerges, it is time to begin brushing twice a day with a small toothbrush and water. After your child turns two, you can start using a small amount of fluoride toothpaste. You can also begin flossing as soon as your child has two teeth that touch each other.
Regular Dental Visits
Your child should have her first dental appointment by her first birthday. After that, you should schedule regular appointments every six months. It is important that your child undergo regular dental check-ups so that the dentist can determine the risk for cavities and look for signs of decay.
Curb Oral Habits
Many children suck on their thumb or a pacifier to help soothe themselves. However, these devices can lead to oral problems in the future such as crooked teeth and bite problems. If you are worried about your child’s bad habits, speak to your dentist, who will have some suggestions on how to correct the issue.
Eating and Drinking Habits
One of the biggest culprits for tooth decay in toddlers is milk and juice. Many parents will give their child a bottle of milk or juice to help them fall asleep, but the sugar in these drinks will then sit on your child’s teeth, putting them at risk for tooth decay. If your child is already in the habit of falling asleep with a bottle, try to curb this habit, or fill her bottle with water instead.
If you are in the Grand Rapids area and have questions regarding Toddler oral health, contact us today! We would be happy to answer any questions that you may have, as well as schedule your appointment with Dr. Zwier.