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What Parents Can Do for Better Dental Health of Toddlers & Infants

toddler teethThe dental health of your infant and toddler can set the stage to achieving healthy, permanent teeth when they become teenagers and eventually adults later in life. According to life smiles family dentistry, good dental health this early can help in assisting normal speech development as well as for developing healthy eating habits.  The fact that your young ones cannot brush their teeth yet or monitor for cavities, the responsibility rests on you as a parent to help assist them achieve good oral hygiene.

Professional Dental Care

Your young ones should get their first dental consult by the time they reach the age of one year.  The early visit to the dentist will help familiarize your kid with the dental health professional as well as determine early if there are any problems in tooth or jaw development.  The dentist will also inform you regarding correct dental care as well as offer suggestions on what you can do at home in order to prevent future problems.

Home Dental Care

When you notice the first tooth eruption through your infant’s sensitive gums, you can begin regular home brushing.  Begin with wetting a soft baby-friendly toothbrush or a clean washcloth with plain water and then slowly rub the tiny teeth clean after feedings.  You can use a pea-sized dab of fluoride toothpaste after your toddler’s second birthday.  Check for the presence of any brown or white spots which can be signs of early tooth decay and bring your child to the dentist for proper attention.

It is not recommended to put your baby to bed with a bottle of milk in his mouth because the milk can easily pool in the oral cavity and can become a breeding ground for bacteria. Also you need to limit the intake of sugary food and drinks. Do not allow your child to consume sugary beverages out of a sippy cup for a prolonged period because of the each sip brings more sugar to come into contact with the teeth’s surface. Establish a regular brushing routine each morning and evening so that it becomes part of your child’s routine day-to-day activity.