Tooth Care for Toddlers
Toddlers teeth can prove very problematic…first you get all the fun of teething with your child being more grizzly than normal with bright red cheeks and non-stop dribble and then you have the new problem of trying to brush these new shiny teeth!
My daughter is 2 and a half and no exception. Some days she brushes her teeth with no drama, other days tooth brushing can be a real battle!
It’s important to brush your child’s teeth from the minute they poke through the gums to ensure good oral hygiene. Being a dental nurse myself this is something I’m very keen on passing on to my daughter. We brush her teeth every morning and every evening. Using a toothbrush specifically designed for her age and we use aquafresh little teeth toothpaste. It is important to use only a smear of toothpaste for children up to the age of 3 and then a pea sized amount for children aged 3 to 6. This ensures they’re getting the right amount of fluoride.
For children aged 0-2 use a toothpaste that contains 1000ppm (parts per million) fluoride and for children aged 3 and above use a toothpaste containing 1000-1500ppm. This again ensures they are getting the right amount of fluoride for their age.
Like most children my daughter likes her independence so I allow her to brush her teeth first, encouraging her to brush at the back & the front and either side. I then try and get around myself with the toothbrush to ensure no tooth has been missed – this can be a tricky job and I have learnt the hard way that Toddlers teeth can be very sharp!
Younger children may just chew their brush. Don’t worry about this, it’s all just getting them used to the routine of good oral hygiene and making sure they have fluoride on their teeth.
My little girl has got some serious dental brownie points by taking a liking to flossing. From a young age if she’d eaten something that had got stuck in her teeth I’d use a glide floss stick to get between her teeth and get it out. Since then and watching myself floss daily she has requested flossing herself! She gets a glide floss stick and goes between her teeth…she must know her Mummy’s a dental nurse and will be nagging at her to look after her teeth!
There are lots of ways to try and make tooth brushing more fun and less of a ‘chore’ for your child.
Here are some tips I try –
- putting on a song whilst brushing to encourage longer brushing times
- Helping each other brush – I’ll let my daughter brush my teeth whilst I do hers
- Brushing at the same time as your child – remember you’re their biggest role model, if they see you do it they’ll want to do it too
- Using tooth brushing in role play – brushing their dolls and teddies teeth
- Using encouraging language, smiles and lots of praise whilst brushing
- Let them help pick their toothbrush from the shop – toothbrushes should be changed every 3 months
Most of all have fun with it…I know it can be a hard task but the more you can make it a positive experience for yourself and your child the better.Go Back