Getting your active toddler to brush his or her teeth is an exercise in patience. Your children want to play, walk, run, go for car rides, climb trees, pet the dog, and do everything except brush their teeth. Levens Family Dentistry has some tips to get your toddler to practice good oral hygiene habits at an early age.
Start as Young as Possible
Start to brush your baby’s teeth as soon as teeth come in. Use a baby-sized toothbrush and make a dollop of toothpaste about the size of a grain of rice. Brush your baby’s teeth twice per day, because starting young gets your children used to having their teeth brushed. The American Dental Association recommends you take your baby for a dental appointment from 6 to 12 months old. Family dentistry practices specialize in dental work for people of any age, including babies and toddlers.
Pick Out Toothbrushes
When your child is old enough to start brushing teeth on his or her own — usually around age 3 —, make the process fun. Go to the store and have your toddler pick out a toothbrush in their favorite color or with their favorite cartoon character on it. When your child enjoys picking out a toothbrush, it makes brushing more fun. Look for the ADA Seal of Acceptance on toothbrushes and toothpaste. A family dentistry practice can also give recommendations for your toddler.
Dentists recommend brushing your children’s teeth for 2 minutes. Play music in the background, such as your child’s favorite song, to make the 2 minutes go by faster. Again, the idea here is to make toothbrushing enjoyable. Kids love doing fun things, and taking care of your toddler’s teeth should be no different. Family dentistry staff can suggest songs to play, too.
Watch What Foods Toddlers Eat
Excessive bottle feeding or sippy cup use can cause tooth decay, even with milk. If your child needs something to drink before bed, go with water instead of milk or sugary drinks. Avoid sugary foods that linger on teeth when it comes to snacks. Choose fruits or vegetables with high amounts of fiber, such as melons, pears, cucumbers, and celery, for snacks. If you serve sugary foods, do so as dessert directly after the main meal. That’s because your toddler’s mouth already has saliva working around in it to help wash away food particles. Your family dentistry practice also has a list of suggested foods to eat.
See Us at Levens Family Dentistry
At Levens Family Dentistry, we take pride on being family-friendly. We can take care of your toddler’s teeth with regular dental check-ups, preventative care, and recommendations for toothbrushing at any stage of life. Call us today at (719) 574-1705 or request an appointment for all of your family dentistry needs.