Home & FamilyHealth & FitnessHow to Care for a Toddler's Teeth

How to Care for a Toddler’s Teeth

One of your biggest responsibilities as the parent of a toddler is to teach them good oral hygiene. Teach babies good oral habits that they can use now and enable them to care properly for their teeth and gums when they get older.

Teething

Most toddlers won’t have all of their teeth until they reach the age of three. Until then, as their teeth
start to emerge from their gums, they may experience some discomfort. Although there are some over
the counter medications that you can use to numb the sore areas, try to alleviate their discomfort using
natural methods first.

  • Lightly rub and massage any sore areas where your child is teething with a clean finger or damp
    cloth.
  • Place a spoon or a plastic teething ring in the freezer and allow your child to chew on it to alleviate the pressure and numb the area.

If you feel that natural methods aren’t helping, contact your child’s dentist prior to using any over the
counter medications for guidance. Don’t hesitate to contact your child’s physician if they develop a fever
and become unusually irritable to rule out other health concerns.

Brushing Teeth

Children should brush their teeth at least twice a day. Whether your child is eager to brush their teeth or
a little reluctant, you should make it a habit to watch them while they brush. Make brushing teeth fun
with music, silly dances and other happy activities that will get them excited. Each time your child
brushes his or her teeth, make sure they do so for at least two to three minutes.

  • Use only a small dollop or pea size amount of toddler toothpaste (ADA fluoride) on their toothbrush. Many children love the taste of toothpaste so make sure that your child doesn’t swallow any of it.
  • Only use soft bristle toothbrushes. Anything else will be too hard and can hurt your toddler’s teeth and gums, and discourage them from wanting to develop good dental habits.
  • Gently brush your child’s teeth starting with the inside surfaces first. Then slightly angle their toothbrush towards their gums and brush lightly in a back and forth motion.
  • Make sure that all surfaces of your child’s teeth have been brushed before ending each brushing session.

Now is also a good time to introduce your child to flossing. Assist them and show the right way of
flossing to prevent them from injuring themselves and to instill how important flossing is to their oral
health.

If your toddler is over the age of one, now is a good time to start taking them to the dentist. The dentist
will monitor your child’s teeth and oral health, and educate you on how you to care for your child’s oral
health.

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