Although baby teeth are temporary and will eventually get replaced by adult (permanent) teeth, they will continue to have an impact on how your child eats, speaks, and smiles until around the age of 12 years, when the last baby tooth usually falls out. So, it is important that take care of your toddler’s teeth for his/her oral health, and also to ensure that the adult teeth form properly, according to Pasadena dentist, Sona Asatryan DDS.
Here are some tips to care for your toddler’s teeth:
● Use a soft brush to clean the teeth after all meals – At around the age of 18 months, your child will have enough teeth to consume table foods. At this point, it is important that you use a soft, infant toothbrush and a small amount of fluoridated toothpaste to clean the teeth.
● Floss regularly – As soon as your child has two teeth touching each other, you should start using dental floss to remove plaque and food debris in places where the toothbrush bristles cannot reach. Ask your dentist during your child’s dental checkup about the best techniques and schedules for flossing. Typically, it is best to floss just before bedtime, after which your child should not consume anything until the next morning, except water.
● Follow all meals with a drink of water – As you introduce your child to different table foods, it is important that you follow anything consumed with some clean water to wash off the baby teeth. This is particularly important after eating sticky, sugary foods to reduce the risk of tooth decay.
● Reduce your child’s intake of sugary drinks – While fresh juice is full of vital vitamins and nutrients, it can also lead to tooth decay if the mouth environment is constantly filled with sugar. So, consider limiting your child’s intake to about 4 ounces of pure fruit juice per day. Also, try to schedule the consumption of sugary foods and drinks to mealtimes, and rinse the mouth with clean water afterwards.
● Control the sippy cup – Your toddler will be using a sippy cup as he/she progresses from using a bottle to a glass. As fun as it may seem, don’t allow your child to sip from it all day long, especially when drinking sugary drinks as this can cause tooth decay on the inner side of the front teeth.
Lastly, try to visit a pediatric dentist on a regular basis. The first dental visit for your child should be before the age of 1 year, right after the first tooth erupts. Subsequent visits at 6 – 12 month intervals are important for you to be educated on early preventive oral care, and ensure the healthy growth of your child’s primary teeth.