There’s a lot to worry about when you have a toddler running around. From potty training to keeping them from swallowing your jewelry, raising a little one can be overwhelming.
But there are many teaching moments that you don’t want to miss. As a toddler, your child has no idea what’s good and what’s harmful to his or her body, which is where mom and dad come in! Teaching them the importance of proper nutrition (here comes the broccoli train!), getting enough sleep at night, and proper hygiene is incredibly important.
But are you also teaching them the value of strong oral care? With so many other topics to cover, oral care sometimes takes a back seat. Don’t let your toddler’s teeth go by the wayside. Enforce healthy dental care habits and teach your little one why oral care is essential before they experience their first toothache.
How to Teach Your Toddler Great Oral Care Habits:
Brush, Brush, Brush!
As soon as your toddler’s first tooth appears, get brushing! The rest of the teeth won’t be far behind, so starting early will get your child into a good habit quickly.
Use a soft toothbrush with a small amount of toothpaste, preferably one that contains a healthy amount of fluoride (check the toothpaste for the ADA stamp of approval). Make sure your little one is brushing twice a day. Start by supervising your child’s brushing and slowly let them do it on their own.
Limit Sugary Drinks
Sugary drinks are a nightmare for teeth, so limit how many juices your child is drinking each day.
Children should not drink more than four ounces of juice a day. Milk, which is a favorite among youngsters, surprisingly contains a lot of sugar, so it should not be consumed right before bed.
When your child drinks something sugary, the sugar binds to his or her teeth and causes bacteria to build up and eat away at the enamel. This creates weaker teeth, leading to childhood cavities. We want our little ones to have strong, healthy, and powerful teeth as they grow up, so check how much sugar your children are drinking throughout the day.
Fill the Sippy Cup With Water
Sippy cups should be used briefly while your child transitions from a bottle to a regular cup. The sippy cup should never be used as a pacifier and should be filled with water as much as possible. Sipping on fruit juices and milk throughout the day can put your child at a higher risk of tooth decay. Keep the cups filled with water and your child will stay properly hydrated and their teeth will stay out of harm’s way.
Check for Mouth Breathing
Mouth breathing is common among young children. While it may not seem like a huge deal now, it can lead to oral dilemmas later.
Breathing through the mouth dries out your mouth as it lowers how much saliva you produce. This increases your child’s risk of developing bad breath, periodontitis, and gingivitis.
If you notice your child is a mouth-breather, take him or her to see your dentist. Your dentist can teach your child how to breathe through their nose and keep your little one’s oral care in tip-top shape.
See Your Dentist Regularly
Getting your child to keep up with regular dental visits should start at an early age. Your dentist can ensure that your youngster isn’t suffering from cavities, tooth decay, and has excellent oral hygiene. Children who keep up with their dental checkups are more likely to continue seeing their dentist regularly as they grow older.
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