Several developments form in a child’s brain and body at the ages of 1 to 3. This period is when they absorb information like sponges through observation and mimicry. Simultaneously, they also start to grow most of their primary teeth. Therefore, this period is the best opportunity to impart regular and proper habits in their oral health care. Putting together a simple checklist can help you out in remembering all the important steps in keeping your toddler’s tooth and gum health in check.
- Be mindful of their meals.
A well-rounded diet can improve a person’s overall health and well-being but it can also promote good oral health. Eating healthy food rich in calcium such as cheese, yogurt, fruits, and leafy-greens can help in strengthening a kid’s growing teeth.
Limit sugary and starchy food in their diet as these may cause tooth rot and unhealthy gums.
- Keep them hydrated.
Drinking water regularly helps in flushing away debris that gets stuck between teeth. Staying hydrated also helps in the overall production of saliva. Lack of moisture in the mouth can cause plaques, tooth decay, and gum disease.
While drinking fruit juices have their own healthy benefits, they also contain a lot of sugar. To keep your toddler’s teeth and gums healthy, have them stick to water.
- Give them a warm glass of milk.
Calcium in the milk can help strengthen the enamel of the teeth and the jaw bone. Give toddlers a warm glass of milk about 30 minutes before brushing for that extra boost of protection.
- Teach them proper brushing techniques.
Brushing properly is just as important as brushing consistently. Teach your toddlers to use a moderate pea-sized amount of toothpaste. Then, play a two-minute song they can listen to for the full duration of their brushing. Take extra time to show them proper brushing technique by brushing patiently and gently on the inside then out. Remind them to clean their tongue as well. Carefully instruct them not to swallow their toothpaste and give a sippy-cup for rinsing. Set a consistent brushing schedule for them in the mornings and evenings to establish a routine.
Make your toddlers look forward to brushing their teeth by keeping it fun for them. Pick a toothbrush with bright colors, preferably of their favorite cartoon character and grab orange flavored fluoride toothpaste. Remember to replace their toothbrushes every three months or when the bristles show visible fraying.
- Start them early with flossing.
Dentists recommended flossing for children as soon as the growth of two adjacent teeth. Do 2-3 minutes of flossing before brushing so food particles can be flushed along with rinsing. Flavored kids’ dental floss can help them get used to flossing faster.
- Set regular dental appointments.
Children are more prone to cavities and tooth decay at these ages so it’s recommended to make visits to the dentists at least twice a year for a thorough oral check. Take this time to ask for recommendations for the best diet, toothbrushes, toothpastes, and flosses to further improve your checklist.
Getting accustomed to good oral care habits at a young age can greatly benefit children in the long-run. A nutrient-rich diet and proper brushing techniques are guaranteed to protect their teeth and gums from common dental problems in children such as tooth decay and pediatric gingivitis. In the case of severe dental issues or for further education on how to improve your child’s dental health, book an appointment with a good dental clinic.