Posted on: 5 October 2015Share
Your baby or toddler can't clean their own mouth and teeth properly, so it's up to you as the parent to brush and care for your child's teeth. It's up to you to instill the importance of dental care and teach proper teeth cleaning techniques to help prepare him or her for the future. See below for helpful tips on how to properly care for your baby and toddler's teeth.
Just because your baby doesn't have teeth yet doesn't mean you can't care for his or her gums. Use a wash cloth to gently massage your baby's gums. Cleaning your baby's gums not only helps prepare your child for future brushing, but it also helps keep the gums--and the teeth beneath the gum line--clean and healthy.
When your child's teeth begin to come in, you need to begin brushing more regularly. Brush twice daily, once in the morning and again before bed. You can find soft infant/toddler toothbrushes and training toothpaste at your local grocery store. The training toothpaste doesn't have fluoride in it. If using fluoride toothpaste in children younger than three, only a drop the size of a grain of rice should be smeared onto the toothbrush in order to help prevent fluorosis in your child, according to the American Dental Association.
Be sure your child drinks plenty of water, as it helps clean and rinse milk and food from their teeth throughout the day. Give your child water rather than juice to sip on during the day in their sippy cup. Sipping on juice all day long can deteriorate your child's teeth, as the sugar from juice will sit on their teeth and eat away at the enamel. If you give juice, be sure to dilute it with water and don't allow your child to sip on it through the day. It should be given at mealtime and encouraged to drink at the table. Take it away when the meal is over.
Your child's diet can also affect his or her teeth. Give your child healthy snacks such as apples, carrots, celery and cheese. Skip out on sugary snacks such as fruit snacks, sugary juices, candy and white foods (white pasta, white bread and crackers). Cut up your child's food to ensure they are chewing with their back teeth, rather than their front teeth.
Make an appointment with a pediatric dentist to get your child's teeth cleaned professionally every six months. You can talk to your child's pediatrician for recommendations for a dentist in your area. Talk to the dentist about any questions or concerns you may have with your child's teeth and oral care.
Keeping your child's teeth healthy is up to you. Take the time to clean your child's teeth, take him or her to the dentist and instill healthy dental care habits in your child. For more information, talk to a dentist like Market Street Dental PC.