It’s never too early to take steps to protect your child’s smile, so conscientious parents will want to know how to best care for the oral health of children throughout their early years. For toddlers, whose baby teeth have erupted, this means establishing the foundation of lifelong good oral hygiene practices.
Kid’s dental care differs a bit from the oral hygiene routine that we practice as grown-ups. While your toddler can begin using toothpaste, limit the amount. Put a pea-sized portion of toothpaste on the brush, and take care to make sure that your child does not swallow it. Only begin using fluoridated toothpaste when you feel confident that the child will spit it out rather than swallow it.
Toddlers can begin to brush their own teeth when they have the manual dexterity necessary to do so, but parents should still supervise the process to make sure that the teeth are being brushed thoroughly and adequately.
You can begin flossing your child’s teeth whenever they first have two teeth that touch each other. Your child may need more assistance with flossing than brushing in order to make sure that it is done properly.
Another consideration in kid’s dental care at home is the texture of the toothbrush. Children will benefit from brushes with softer bristles than their parents use. Technique is important as well. Make sure to brush all surfaces of the teeth and angle the brush along the gumline to more effectively disrupt plaque formation in that area.
Professional dental care is just as important for children as adults, if not more so. Therefore, your toddler should also follow up with a pediatric dentist for semi-annual check-ups and cleanings. Dental practices that focus on treating children are well-equipped to use tools and techniques specifically designed to put youngsters at ease. A good relationship with a pediatric dentist during childhood can reinforce positive feelings about dental care for a lifetime.
Do you have more questions about caring for your toddler’s smile? Contact our office and speak to one of our experienced staff members, or schedule a consultation at your convenience.