Toddlers and Teeth

Toddlers and Teeth: Setting the Stage for a Lifetime of Good Oral Hygiene

Charleston Swann News Update

Many parents figure that baby teeth fall out anyway, so there is no need to worry about them. The reality, though, is that a stunning 60 to 90 percent of children develop at least one cavity in a baby tooth. Untreated childhood dental issues can cause permanent damage, while developing good oral health habits in the toddler years can lead to a lifetime of excellent dental health. Here are some ways that you can start your toddler’s dental journey.

Model Good Choices

Soon after birth, start wiping your baby’s gums daily with a clean, damp cloth or a piece of sterile gauze. When the first tooth comes in, start brushing it twice per day with a soft, child-sized toothbrush and a tiny dab of toothpaste. As soon as two teeth touch, begin flossing between them. The goal is for your child to have no memories of a time without daily oral hygiene.

Normalize Brushing and Flossing

Soon after birth, start wiping your baby’s gums daily with a clean, damp cloth or a piece of sterile gauze. When the first tooth comes in, start brushing it twice per day with a soft, child-sized toothbrush and a tiny dab of toothpaste. As soon as two teeth touch, begin flossing between them. The goal is for your child to have no memories of a time without daily oral hygiene.

Reduce Sugar

There is nothing wrong with giving fruit juice or milk to your kids, as long as you keep the quantities reasonable. Give your baby plain water at naptime and bedtime so that she sees water as a normal beverage option as she grows up. As your child transitions to solid foods, make sure the bulk of her diet consists of fruit, cheese, and other healthier choices. It is fine to give sweet snacks and beverages as an occasional treat, but be sure to rinse your child’s mouth thoroughly with plain water as soon as possible.

See the Dentist

Age one is the best time to schedule a first dentist visit. The goal is to help the child become comfortable with the office without adding stress, so we will take our cues from him. Some kids will get just a quick tour of the office and a meet and greet with the staff, while others are ready for an exam and a cleaning.

After the first visit, we will start scheduling your child for regular appointments. Our goal is to stand beside kids as they grow up, keeping their mouths as healthy as they can be and coping with any emergencies that might arise.

Want to Learn More?

If you are ready to start your child’s journey toward a lifetime of dental health, contact Andover Pediatric Dentistry today at 978-296-4964 (Andover office) or 978-682-3342 (Lawrence office).