Toddler Tooth Care
We love that Denton is a town full of growing families! And at Timberlake Dental, we love caring for the entire family. This week’s blog is full of important information about caring for your toddlers’ teeth!
What Am I Supposed to Do to Care for My Toddler’s Teeth?
Baby teeth are just as important as permanent teeth, and they need the same kind of care. Because baby teeth have thinner enamel than permanent teeth, it is actually easier for a toddler to get a cavity than for an adult. There are two important components of caring for your toddler’s teeth.
Because it is easier for cavities to form on baby teeth, it is essential that you limit your child’s intake of sugary drinks. Obviously, sodas are bad for a toddler. Most people do not realize that many juice boxes and sports drinks are just as bad because they have as much sugar as a soda does.
Sweets or candies should be limited to dessert time as close to a meal as possible. In between meals, your toddler should drink only water. If your little one takes a sippy cup to bed, make sure it, too, has only water in it. Even milk has enough sugar in it to cause cavities if your child sips on it throughout the night.
No toddler is capable of taking care of his or her own teeth. They lack the manual dexterity necessary to clean all surfaces of all the teeth. For this reason, you have to brush and floss for them.
Wait . . . What?!? I’m Supposed to Floss my Toddler’s Teeth?
Yes! Both brushing and flossing are essential to keep your kids’ teeth clean and cavity-free. Some of you may have an “out”, though. Many children have small gaps between their teeth. You do NOT have to floss the teeth that have gaps. You only need to floss where two teeth touch each other.
Both brushing and flossing are easiest to do by sitting on the floor and having your child lay his or her head in your lap. As you look down into the mouth, you will be able to easily see what you are doing. Because they are laying back, it is important to only use a very small amount of toothpaste and no water (so they do not choke).
When Will my Toddler Stop Teething?
Teething is a real pain . . . for both the toddler and the parent. Most children have all of their baby teeth in their mouths by age 2 years old. However, some children are slower to develop and can experience teething and tooth eruption up to age 3.
Teething rings and other toys that can be frozen are wonderfully soothing to sore gums. In severe cases, you can administer children’s Tylenol or Motrin according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
What Do I Do if my Toddler Falls and Damages Her Mouth?
As little ones are learning to “toddle”, they often fall. Injuries to the mouth are very common in the toddler stage. It is important to evaluate the injured area of the mouth quickly to determine the extent of the injury. In most cases, only minor damage takes place.
If you see excessive bleeding, a broken or lost tooth, or a misplaced tooth, come see us ASAP. If the injury happens after hours, call our office phone number (940-382-1750), which has the information to reach Dr. Chowning in an emergency.
When Does my Toddler Need to See a Dentist?
As soon as he or she can sit still in the dental chair!
We love seeing children as early as possible in order to give them a good experience at the dentist. It is great to bring kids to easy short visits of your own so you can set an example for them. You show them that you are not scared, and therefore, they will not be scared. You show them how to sit still in the chair, lean back, and open your mouth so that the dentist can take a look around. Then they will understand what is expected of them when it is their turn.
At Timberlake Dental, we see many children as young as two years old (and a few even younger than that). We slowly ease children into the process of a professional teeth cleaning and a dental evaluation by allowing them to do a little at a time and work their way up to a full visit of their own.
More Questions about Toddler Tooth Care?
Call 940-382-1750 today to schedule a visit with Dr. Chowning. He and our hygienists love seeing children of all ages and can answer all of your toddler tooth care questions.