Toddlers need to have their teeth cleaned

Your toddler may not like having his/her teeth cleaned every day, but they need to have it done just like adults. Baby (primary) teeth serve an important role and therefore they need a proper care, even if they do fall out eventually. The digestive process begins in the mouth. Chewing foods is the first step in helping your body to get the nutrients it needs for proper development. A child’s first teeth are also there to guide the eruption of permanent teeth into proper position. If the baby teeth are not kept healthy and are required to be removed prematurely, other problems may occur, such as crowding or speech impediment.

Dentists recommend brushing baby teeth with a child toothbrush, rather than using a cloth when the new teeth come in. This will allow for better hygiene at the gum line and it will help the child grow accustomed to a soft bristle brush. Brushing their teeth at least twice a day is recommended, especially before bedtime. When asleep, the saliva flow decreases and that’s when the bacteria does the most damage of the tooth structure.

Here are some tips to help to get your child into the habit of cleaning their teeth:

  • Try to get your child accustomed to the toothbrush as soon as possible.
  • Give your toddler a toothbrush of his/her own and have another one for mom or dad to use on the child.
  • Have your child step on a stool and look in the mirror, while the parent stands behind and brushes their teeth. Get them involved and interested in what you are doing. Singing a nursery song while brushing can also be fun.
  • Sometimes giving a child an electric toothbrush with animals or other characters will get the toddler interested and occupied with brushing.
  • Use non-fluoride toothpaste before the age of 5or 6, since children are not able to spit out properly before that age.

If you have any questions or concerns, call Dr. Foksa, your Guelph dentist at Downtown Dentistry.