If you haven’t already started teaching your toddler dental care habits, now is definitely the time to start. Developing dental care habits as a normal routine can reduce the likelihood of temper tantrums when it’s time to brush. Taking your toddler’s toothbrush with you can establish the importance of always practicing good dental care and make them comfortable with the concept of tooth brushing regularly.
Some experts recommend having more than one toothbrush for your child, and letting him or her make the choice of which one to choose. All toothbrushes should have soft bristles, and easy to grip handles for both you and your toddler. Brushing while your son or daughter are also brushing their teeth, can help lay the groundwork for the future.
A very small amount of toothpaste should be used. There are two reasons for this:
1. You don’t want to overpower your toddler’s sense of taste.
2. You also don’t want your child to be exposed to too much fluoride or other additives in the paste. Fluoride does help build harder tooth enamel, but at high levels in the body, it can cause white spots to develop on adult teeth, even before they’ve come in. The appearance of baby teeth is not an indicator of whether or not your toddler will have these white spots.
Teaching your toddler about dental care should start early, even in infancy, and should not only come from your toddler’s dentist. There are many ways you can teach your child about dental care, including why it is so important. You can let your toddler watch you brush your own teeth. When your toddler makes the decision that he or she wants to brush instead of you brushing, allow this, but explain that you will brush where they’ve missed, and they can brush wherever you’ve missed in return.
During this time, you have much control over what your child eats and drinks, and also which habits and activities your child learns. While some toddlers love to brush, others will fuss and even fight you over brushing. Providing incentives that will encourage your toddler to want to brush regularly. Some parents may add an extra short video to his or her bedtime routine, or an extra story told at bedtime.
Don’t wait until you have a problem with your toddler’s teeth to take him or her into the dentist. A first dental visit should never be a surprise. For a lifetime of beautiful smiles, we encourage getting started early with the right plan and the right treatments. For more information on how we can help your children, please call our office at (760) 747-1811 to learn more about pediatric dentistry in Escondido, California.