Starting proper dental hygiene early in your young one’s life.
– by the team at South Royal Dental Centre.
Proper dental care begins early. The sooner you establish healthy routines for your child, the more likely these are to become lifelong habits. Though your toddler’s baby teeth are only temporary, it’s important to set the stage now for a lifetime of healthy dental hygiene.
Visit Your Dentist
Aim to schedule your child’s first visit to the dentist before his or her first birthday. These early visits can help ease some of the anxiety associated with the dentist and turn the office into a familiar place. It’s recommended that you bring your child in for a check-up every six months after the first visit.
Brush Those Baby Teeth
Start brushing your child’s teeth as soon as they erupt. Before the age of 3, you’ll only need a dollop of toothpaste the size of a grain of rice. Brush twice daily — in the morning and at night. This will help get your child into the proper habits for lifelong dental care. Angle the brush to clean the gum line as well as the tooth. Toddlers should always receive adult assistance with brushing. In fact, children generally need supervision with tooth brushing till the age of 6.
Start flossing your child’s teeth as soon as he or she has two that are adjacent to one another. You should use a soft floss at this early age. Move it gently up and down between the teeth, and curve it into a “C” shape around the tooth to catch any tricky bits of food.
Toddlers should stay away from sugary drinks as much as possible. These speed tooth decay. Limit juice to 4 ounces per day. Try adding just a splash of juice to a cup of water, gradually decreasing the amount of juice if you need to help your child cut back on this sweet, fruity treat. Never send your toddler to bed with a bottle of milk. You should generally avoid bottles at bedtime. If you must use one, fill it only with water.
If your tot has pearly whites, it’s never too early to call your dentist and ask about making that first appointment. Dental issues are almost always easier to treat when they’re identified early on. Give your child the opportunity to get to know your dentist now, and you can foster a lifelong relationship that will help your child enjoy a bright healthy smile throughout his or her life.