The Basics of Brushing:
- Brush your toddler’s teeth twice a day (morning and night) with a toddler-sized soft bristle brush.
- Brush teeth with water and a toothbrush before the age of 2.
- Brush teeth with a pea-sized amount of flouride toothpaste after the age of 2.
- Make sure your toddler spits out toothpaste instead of swallowing it.
- Brush teeth with the toothbrush at a 45 degree angle to the gumline.
- Does your toddler hate getting teeth brushed? Look here for tips to make toothbrushing go smoother!
Do Toddlers Need Their Teeth Flossed?
Begin flossing your toddler’s teeth daily when he/she has at least two teeth that touch one another.
What Other Ways Can I Protect My Toddler’s Teeth?
Brushing and flossing aren’t the only ways to take care of your toddler’s teeth and protect them from cavities. You should also:
- Make sure your toddler doesn’t go to bed with milk, juice or other non-water drinks: When your toddler drinks from a sippy cup or bottle at night, the drink can pool in the toddlers mouth. Then bacteria can grow, eventually leading to cavities.
- Offer your Toddler a Healthy Diet: Refined foods and foods with added sugar should be limited. Make sure to offer healthy snacks and help your toddler eat healthy meals as well.
- Never Dip a Pacifier in Something Sweet: Doing this can increase the risk of your toddler developing cavities. If your toddler still uses a pacifier, make sure it is clean!
- Possibly Xylitol: Studies suggest that xylitol may help prevent cavities by inhibiting the growth of cavity-causing bacteria.
When Should My Toddler First See the Dentist?
It’s recommended for children to see a dentist by age 1. If your toddler still has not seen a dentist, it’s a good idea to set up an appointment. Dental appointments at a young age will ensure dental problems are discovered quickly and also help your child become accustomed to regular dental checkups.