In order to prevent oral issues such as cavities, tooth decay, and other potentially serious problems, the first thing you need to do is help you toddler achieve prime oral health.
But how do you make sure your child takes care of their teeth and keeps them in excellent condition? Unless you want to brush their teeth every morning and night until they reach adolescence, there’s only one option: teaching them how to take care of their own teeth and gums. However, until your children are old enough to take on this task themselves, there are ways you can protect your toddler’s teeth.
Avoid Overuse of the Baby Bottle
Yes, a baby bottle is something a toddler relies on for food and fuel. However, you need to be careful with what you’re actually putting in there. Pouring juice or other sugary drinks into a toddler’s bottle can put bacteria into their mouths, ultimately causing tooth decay. Even worse, you are instilling a love for sugary drinks that ultimately will cause a ton of damage. If you’re giving your child a bottle for nap time or bedtime, make sure it’s only filled with water, formula, or milk.
Bye Bye, Pacifier
Your child will most likely rely on a pacifier from a young age, but it’s very important to cut its use by the time they turn two or three. The overuse of the pacifier can not only affect how their teeth will line up in the future, but it may also completely transform the shape of their developing mouth. If your child is still relying on a pacifier after the age of three, contact your doctor for tips on weaning them off of their beloved paci.
Encourage and Demand Brushing, Flossing, and Rinsing
Don’t give your child the option of keeping up with their oral hygiene. Brushing should be non-optional. To ensure perfect oral hygiene, make sure that your child brushes, flosses, and rinses as often as necessary. If you aren’t sure how often your child should be caring for their teeth, talk to your pediatric dentist or pediatrician for specific recommendations. The best pediatricians will be able to help your child understand the importance of practicing proactive oral hygiene.
You can even make the process fun by allowing them to pick out their own toothpaste once they reach the age of five. However, if your child is younger than age 2, make sure to avoid fluoride toothpaste unless your dentist tells you it’s okay to do so. Also, a little motivation goes a long way, so if you want to reward your child with a sticker or a prize for completing their daily dental work, that might make the process a bit more enjoyable.
Making sure that your child’s teeth are treated well from the start will ensure successful visits to the dentist office in the future. Your dental pediatrician will thank you for the good oral hygiene.