Toddlers are great at keeping parents on their toes – from potty training to first words to temper tantrums and everything in between. So it’s probably not surprising that daily tooth care can take a back seat at times. Nevertheless, adopting good oral hygiene habits now can prevent toddler tooth decay down the road. Follow these tips to help keep your toddler’s teeth healthy and cavity-free:
Start Tooth Care Early
A toddler’s first tooth can erupt when they are as young as six months old. Once teeth emerge, it’s time to begin brushing. Using a small toothbrush and water is best until age two, at which time you can switch to using a bit of toothpaste. While they’re small, place your child on your lap when brushing and position the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle. When your child gets older, they may want to brush by themselves. Let them, but take a minute to finish the job afterward to make sure all areas are brushed.
Replace Juice With Water
Each time a child drinks juice, they run the risk of developing cavities. Juice is full of sugar, and when your toddler drinks large amounts of juice, it promotes tooth decay. Instead of filling the bottle or sippy cup with juice, fill it with water. When you do offer juice to your toddler, limit the amount to no more than six ounces a day. It’s also best to wean them from the bottle or sippy cup by their first birthday.
Visit Your Dentist
The sooner your child begins regular dental visits, the healthier their mouths are likely to be in their lifetime. Your toddler should visit the dentist for the first time no later than age one or within six months after the first tooth comes in. The first visit is time for you and your child’s dentist to discuss what causes tooth decay, if there are any signs of tooth decay, how to brush young teeth, your child’s risk for cavities, and the current condition of your child’s teeth and mouth.
Is it time for your toddler to visit the dentist?
To learn more about our Pediatric Dentistry services, contact us at www.ParkViewPedDent.com or by calling 212-879-6518. We look forward to hearing from you!