Oral Care Tips for Parents with Toddlers
Being a parent, raising a child is extremely overwhelming especially for new moms and dads. However, a lot of responsibility lies with parenting. One has to special care of the overall health of the child including nutrition, quality of sleep and how they cope with illness. Oral care often takes a back seat amidst all these. We visit a paediatric dentist only when our child experiences their first ever toothache or dental emergency.
We have listed six oral care tips to guide parents like you.
Take good care of your child’s milk teeth
Toddlers will eventually lose their milk teeth, but that doesn’t mean that the baby teeth are not important. Actually, your child’s baby teeth serve as “space savers” for their permanent teeth. The early loss of baby teeth can lead to problems in the way the teeth and jaw come in contact with each other (occlusion).
Use the right amount of fluoride toothpaste while brushing your toddler’s teeth
Make your children develop the habit of brushing twice a day, once in the morning and before going to bed. Use a soft toothbrush for brushing as soon as the first tooth erupts. The correct amount of fluoride usages in the toothpaste is very important in keeping your child’s teeth healthy, strong and safe.
Avoid leaving your child with a sippy cup, unless it contains only water
Sippy cups are helpful when it’s time for a child to switch from bottle to a cup. When your child would take sips of fruit juices and other sweetened fluids for a longer period of time, it increases the risk of teeth decay or cavity. Please keep in mind that it's neither a pacifier nor a feeding bottle hence, shouldn't be used for a long period of time.
Don’t give your toddlers sweetened fluids or sugary drinks at bedtime
A serious condition in toddlers, Baby Bottle Tooth Decay or Early Childhood Caries (ECC) is mainly caused due to pooling of breast milk or fruit juices in your child’s mouth. If ECC is left untreated, the infection can turn into a serious problem leading to high fever, hospitalisation, dental trauma, emergency room visits, and costlier treatment.
Keep your pediatrics dentist know if your child constantly breathes through the mouth
One of the most common breathing techniques in young children is mouth breathing which can lead to serious complications later in life. Mouth breathing tends to reduce the salivary flow and dries out the mouth. This, in turn, may increase your child’s risk of gingivitis, bad breath, periodontitis and even lead to problems with your child’s occlusion.
Visit a pediatrics dentist regularly along with your child
There is a well known saying that “Prevention is better than Cure”. Dental checkups on a regular basis with a specialist help prevent dental problems like tooth decay/ cavities before they arise. Moreover, it is the best time to take care of your toddlers’ diet, oral hygiene and oral habits like the use of pacifiers and thumb sucking. Prevention is less traumatic and far better than bringing your child for treatment.