With so much to think about during the toddler years it is easy to forget about their dental health. But even though they are only baby teeth, dental health still needs to be put on the list of things to do!
There are 20 baby teeth in total (ten up top and ten on the bottom). Generally by the time your toddler is 2 ½ years, most of their baby teeth will have appeared.
Toothpaste is not recommended for children under 2 years.
A small soft brush and tap water is all that you need. Toothpaste is not recommended for children under 2 years. After 2 years you can use a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste. Adult toothbrushes are not suitable; a toothbrush made solely for toddlers should be on the shopping list if you haven’t bought one already.
Don’t discourage your toddler if he/she wants to brush their own teeth, but to make sure that they are cleaned properly, you should always brush them as well.
Don’t forget that they are watching your every move! So lead by example, brushing your teeth in front of your toddler will encourage them to be more co-operative when it comes to brushing their teeth.
Tips for healthy teeth
- Clean your toddler’s teeth daily (in the morning and at bedtime).
- Milk and water are the most tooth-friendly drinks.
- Avoid giving sugary drinks, juices or sugary foods between meals.
- Sugary snacks should be avoided, e.g. biscuits, cakes.
- Do not let your toddler sleep with a bottle in his/her mouth. Use a beaker instead for drinks and brush their teeth after a milk drink at bedtime.
- If they use a soother, never dip it in sugar, honey or anything sweet.
- Change your toddler’s toothbrush every three months or when the bristles get ragged.
- Choose sugar-free medicines when you can.
If you are worried about your toddler’s dental health, contact your dentist or healthcare professional for advice. Alternatively, contact our Careline.