Judging how much dental care your toddler needs is sometimes tricky. However, it's an area of children's dentistry that can set them up with good oral health for life. Here are some ways to keep your toddler's teeth healthy.
Ideally, you'll start brushing your toddler's teeth from when they first appear in infancy. As they start to show signs of wanting to become independent in their toddler years, begin involving them in caring for their teeth. You should always strive to brush their teeth for two minutes, twice per day. However, you can let your toddler hold the toothbrush and do a little of the brushing themselves. Doing so sparks their interest in dental care and increases the likelihood of them brushing their teeth adequately as they get older.
If your toddler isn't yet using a sippy cup, now's a good time to make the switch. Bottles encourage liquid to pool around their teeth, which in turn feeds the bacteria there. As the bacteria feed, the amount of plaque present begins to grow. More plaque increases their risk of dental infections, which can feel unpleasant for both your toddler and you. If your toddler relies on sippy cups as a form of comfort when falling asleep, try finding something else. Falling asleep as they sip also increases the amount of sugar present where bacteria breed.
Examine the areas of your toddler's diet where there's potential for them to eat too much sugar. Although it's okay for them to enjoy occasional lollies, too many can erode the enamel on their teeth and weaken them. Similarly, juices that are packed with sugars may encourage bad bacteria to breed. Try focusing on healthy alternatives instead and reserve sugar-laden treats for occasional use only. When they do eat sugar, rinse their mouth with water so you can flush some of it away from their teeth.
Many children grow up with a fear of seeing a dentist. Sometimes this is environmental, as they see you worrying about such visits. In other cases, it's because their dentist is a mysterious person they don't see very often. You can help them overcome this by taking them to see a dentist early on. The more they get used to seeing a dentist, the less likely they are to be scared of them. As a result, they're more likely to engage with appointments right through to adulthood.
To learn more, contact a company like Geelong Dental Group.