An in-depth look at dental hygiene for babies and toddlers.
Brushing your child’s teeth
From a very early age, you can begin to clean a child’s teeth. A small toothbrush and a tiny dab of fluoride toothpaste may be used to gently clean away food and debris. Babies may not like brushing at first but with consistent practice, they will become accustomed. This will make the transition to self-brushing later on a much easier process.
First dental visit by age 1
A ‘friendly’ first visit to the dentist around age 1 is recommended to begin to introduce children to the idea of visiting the dentist. Establishing a “Dental Home” for your child by one year of age is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), American Dental Association (ADA), and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). It has been demonstrated that children who have a dental home are more likely to receive appropriate preventive and routine oral health care. Often at the first visit, unless there are any major dental issues, the dentist will talk to the child, take a quick look in the mouth, count their teeth, and introduce the child to the equipment. The object of this first visit is to make it as positive as possible, so when they return they will not associate a dentist with fear, but with fun and excitement.
Avoiding sugary foods and drinks
Avoiding sugary foods and drinks (especially at nap or bedtime), proper hygiene, and visiting the dentist will decrease the likelihood of tooth decay in children. Healthy primary teeth will prepare the way for the healthy development of permanent teeth and help children develop proper speech as well as create strong jaw and facial muscles which will pave the way for a lifetime of dental health.