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Care for your toddler’s teeth

Paul Banas
Author Paul Banas
Submitted 20-03-2007

It is best for parents to start and establish an oral health
routine with their toddlers at an early age. Their role and guidance in their children’s dental care
is very important until at least the age of 5.

Sometimes, parents face many obstacles to
simple activities like brushing teeth as toddlers tend to get cranky at bedtime or often forget to
brush altogether. ‘Hygiene’ obviously does not mean much to children.

Here are a few tips
on making oral hygiene a part of your children’s daily lives:

  • Wash early toddler
    teeth with a wet washcloth or a piece of gauze.
  • Rinse their mouths after every meal or after
    consumption of sugary treats.
  • Buy special ‘cartoon’ toothbrushes for reluctant toddlers. Let
    them select their own.
  • Let your children try to brush their own teeth in their own way
    before you instruct them how to.
  • Try to get the whole family to brush together.
    This makes it special for children.
  • Try getting your children a drinking fountain
    attachment. Kids like this way of washing their mouths.
  • Make rinsing and brushing the fun
    part of a game.

There’s also the fear of the dentist that every child suffers from. As
a parent, you need to talk about the visit and try to:

  •  Screen dentists to
    make sure you find one that is child-friendly. You have one opportunity to avoid your kids having a
    life-long fear of dentists. An “adult dentist” won’t be right for your child.
  • Let them watch
    you get a checkup from the dentist.
  • Let your toddler sit in your lap for comfort on the
    dentist’s chair.
  •  Get a morning appointment as children are in a better mood at this
    time of the day.