As a diligent parent, you want to make sure that your toddler stays as healthy as possible, and that includes having a healthy smile. In many ways, protecting your child’s teeth is quite similar to protecting your own, although some techniques need tweaking for toddler-sized care and ability.
It’s important to work with your family dentist to develop a comprehensive plan for your toddler’s unique oral health needs. The tips listed below can give you a good head start on the effort.
The Basics of A Healthy Smile
On the whole, keeping a smile – whether it’s found in an adult or a child – healthy warrants a concerted effort to minimize the presence of oral bacteria. Those bacteria, found in plaque and tartar, can wreak havoc on the teeth and gums, causing many problematic oral diseases.
Therefore, you want to do everything possible to keep your child’s teeth and gums healthy and clean. This is a collaborative effort between parents and their family dentist.
How Parents Can Help Their Toddlers Establish Good Oral Health Habits
So, how do you keep your toddler on track for a healthy smile? Just like you would do for your own – stay consistent about your home oral hygiene practices and see your family dentist for routine care. Here are a few specific suggestions that can help you protect your toddler’s smile.
- Assist your toddler with brushing and flossing. Most toddlers don’t yet have the dexterity to brush and floss effectively on their own, but they can certainly “help” by holding the brush, picking the toothpaste, etc.
- Use small amounts of toothpaste. A pea-sized dollop should suffice.
- Be a good role model! Practice a solid daily oral hygiene routine yourself to normalize it for your children.
- Limit your child’s consumption of sweet treats. Oral bacteria feed on the sugary residue left behind by candy, cakes, soda and similar foods. When your child reduces their intake of such foods, the risk of oral diseases, like tooth decay and gum disease, is lower as well.
In addition to the steps you take at home, you should make sure that your toddler is established with a dentist and gets semi-annual checkups and teeth cleanings as scheduled. The dentist may also recommend other preventive interventions, like sealants and fluoride treatments.
Do you need guidance on taking care of your child’s smile, or is your child due for their next check-up? Call Fresh Leaf Dental today to make sure that you are doing everything possible to protect your child’s oral health.