Dental Care for Toddlers

Toddlers need practice in making the basic cleanliness a habit. Parents should aid their kids in learning the basic rules of hygiene. Taking care of the toddler’s teeth is among them. Improper maintenance of teeth will result in tooth decay in the future.

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Toddlers’ Teeth Should be Effectively Brushed

Toddlers need effective brushing at least twice a day. After breakfast and after dinner is the best time to remove the dental plaque that is formed when the naturally occurring bacteria in the mouth reacts with the sugars in the food residues left. There is a misconception that toddlers’ teeth should only be wiped with a soft cloth as brushes will cause damage to the teeth. But in reality, toddlers’ teeth are not so delicate that they will get damaged by brushes.

Small, soft-bristled brush designed especially for babies will greatly help in cleaning the toddler’s teeth, when used with a little amount of toothpaste containing fluoride. When the quantity of fluoride in toothpastes exceeds a certain limit, it may result in tooth stains.

Until six years of age, children need assistance in brushing their teeth. For toddlers, the mother should let the child sit on her lap and gently hold the child’s forehead to keep the little one’s head steady. Then she should brush the child’s teeth inside and out. Kids often resist brushing their teeth. In such cases, the parents can try flavored toothpastes and toothbrushes of varied designs to make tooth brushing time fun.

Flossing Helps in Preventing Tooth Decay

Teeth at the back of a child’s mouth are so intact that food debris may get wedged in between. The soft bristles of the brush fail to clean the plaque in between the child’s teeth. Dental floss helps in making the residues come out so that the toothbrush will clear them out. Regular brushing and flossing is the basis for healthy teeth.

Tips for Healthy Teeth

Apart from brushing and flossing, there are a few other ways to keep a child’s teeth healthy. Following are some tips for teeth hygiene:

-Instead of giving sweets and desserts as a reward, give hugs and kisses or stationery and small toys.
Prefer chocolates to chewy sweets.
-Avoid sweetened or fizzy drinks.
-Dried fruit contains plenty of sugar that may result in tooth decay. So, keep it for meal times.
-As the developing teeth need good nutrition, give foods that are rich in calcium, phosphorous, vitamin C and vitamin D.

After twelve months, it is advisable to take the toddler to a dentist every six months for a check-up. Parents can ask questions about their child’s dental health and learn about the various dental problems. It is their duty to ensure from time to time that their child’s teeth are healthy.

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