We meet many parents of toddlers who are understandably excited to report their child’s first tooth. At this point, we can’t stop ourselves from reminding these parents that it’s time to instate a dental care routine. Surprisingly, many parents do not consider brushing their baby or toddler’s first few teeth. Because they are just baby teeth and the children aren’t devouring cake or cookies yet, these parents often overlook the necessity of toddler tooth care. We believe, however, that good dental health and habits start right from the beginning with that first pearly white tooth!
The Importance of Brushing Baby’s New Teeth
Did you know that well over half of all American parents wait until their babies or toddlers have several or a whole mouth full of baby teeth to begin brushing? This delay is associated with poor oral health. We recommend using a soft toothbrush and light smear of toothpaste to brush that first tooth and subsequent baby teeth twice a day. Even before your child’s first tooth appears, it’s wise to wipe their gums or brush them with an infant toothbrush to enhance the health of their mouth. Brushing that first tooth twice daily, however, lays the foundation for healthy habits and also keeps those baby teeth looking their best.
Naptimes, Sippy Cups, and Water
Parents can also safeguard their toddlers’ oral health by filling their sippy cups with water before naptime instead of milk or juice. Plain milk and juice can be harmful for your little one’s teeth. These beverages contain sugars, even natural sugars, that can lead to tooth decay. Because the sugars coat the teeth for a long stretch during nap time, it’s safer to give your toddlers water. When they do have juice or another other beverage, it’s a good idea to rinse or brush their teeth as soon as they’ve finished.
You can also ensure the oral health of your young children by flossing for them just as soon as they have two teeth that touch. Flossing once a day can keep plaque or other particles from hiding between the teeth. Once your child gets their first tooth, it’s also a good idea to schedule their very first dental appointment. Not only does this allow us to check the health of their tooth and mouth, but it also helps your child get used to our dental environment so they do not become apprehensive about visiting us later on.