Expert tips to care for your toddlers’ teeth

Seeing the first few teeth growing in your toddler’s mouth are an exciting time for a parent. Your toddler is growing, and soon by the age of three years, your toddler will have a full set of baby (primary) teeth.

Did you know that the maintenance of primary teeth is important for the future development of your toddler? Several evidence-based studies support that positive and preventative dental exposure will not only benefit your child’s future dental health, but also their general health.

There are many easy ways to ensure that your toddler’s teeth are strong and will resist decay both now and in the future.

Brushing & Flossing
“Make sure all the plaque has been brushed to avoid acids eating away at the teeth” – Dr James Lucas

Brush your child’s teeth every day twice a day. Your toddler will not have developed his or her fine motor skills yet, so it is important that you help them properly and thoroughly brushes your toddler’s teeth. While brushing can be a daily battle and sometimes the tears can be a bit discouraging, know you are doing the right thing – so be persistent! Keep it up mum and dad!

Use a small pea-sized amount of fluoride-containing toothpaste and a soft-bristled, children’s brush, then brush in small, circular movements. If you let your child brush their own teeth, make sure to finish up the job for them. Furthermore, if you can, floss between your toddler’s teeth to ensure cavities do not form between teeth.

Eating
“Limit sticky and sugary foods!” – Dr Caroline Howarth

Sugary, sticky and acidic foods should be avoided or limited between meals to ensure they do not cause harm to your toddler’s teeth. When your child eats or drinks sugary foods, the bacteria in their mouth mix with the sugars to make a mild acid. The acid attacks the hard layer of the teeth and over time can cause decay. If your toddler has lots of sugary snacks, you are continually topping up the levels of acid in his mouth, increasing the risk of a cavity.

Prevention
“Don’t forget to Toothmousse, use a fluoride containing toothpaste and have a balanced diet” – Dr Amy Fung

Prevention is better than cure, so maximising all the protecting and preventative factors in your toddler’s lifestyle are important. Use an appropriate fluoride containing toothpaste recommended by your dental health care provider. Additionally, if your child is suitable to use remineralising products such as Toothmousse, application is highly beneficial. Toothmousse is a topical agent that prevents demineralisation.

Additionally, ensure your toddler regularly drinks tap water, and consumes enough calcium, vitamins and probiotics. These will include milk, cheese and yoghurts, as well as green leafy vegetables and fruit for a balanced diet.

Dental Visits
“Visit the dentist regularly to make sure your child’s teeth stay healthy” – Dr Narisha Chawia

Have your child visit the dental clinic regularly to ensure their teeth stay in good health. Prior to their first dental visit, it’s a good idea to let your child watch you in the dental chair before the appointment so that your child will have a better understanding on what to expect. Regular appointments should be discussed and agreed upon with your dentist to ensure they are scheduled at the most appropriate intervals for your child and their age. With regular dental visits small problems are identified and treated.

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