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Although toddlers will eventually come to lose their baby teeth, that doesn’t make it okay for them to have cavities. Setting up a practice of dental hygiene can help them understand the importance of caring for their teeth and also alleviate any chances of unpleasant mouth odour and cavities at an early age.
Why Do You Need to Take Care of Your Toddler’s Teeth?
Helping promote a toddler’s teeth cleaning habits is beneficial to him for many reasons.
- Baby teeth in kids help them chew and speak efficiently.
- Your toddler’s baby teeth are what builds his jaws and prepared the gums for the onset of permanent teeth.
- Healthier gums can lead to proper teeth alignment in your kid.
- It prevents cavities and also builds a dental hygiene habit that can last well into adulthood.
When to Start Brushing?
Oral hygiene can begin at an early age. Right from when your kid is an infant you can clean his mouth after each feeding. You can do this by cradling his head in one of your hands and use the other hand to gently wipe his mouth with wet gauze, sanitized cloth or a xylitol wipe. When you notice the first teeth appear in your baby’s mouth, you can begin the brushing routine.
Points to Keep in Mind While Beginning to Brush Your Child’s Teeth
As you begin the teeth brushing routine for your kid, here are a few things that can be kept in mind.
- Use toothpaste without fluoride in kids between 18 months to 6 years of age. Use a tiny brush with soft bristles.
- Stand with your child in front of a mirror so that he can see his teeth being brushed.
- Check your toddler’s mouth for any plaque build-up near the gums.
- Ask your toddler to open this mouth wide to check for any cavities.
- Ask your toddler to spit out the toothpaste after brushing.
- Replace the toothbrush every three or four months or when it is worn out and frayed.
- Encourage your kid to brush twice a day, once in the morning and once before going to bed.
How to Brush Your Tot’s Teeth?
You will need to teach your kid how to brush the right way with regular suggestions. A good way to do this is to stand with your kid as he brushes and guide him. If he is too young you can brush his teeth yourself. Keep in mind the following suggestions as you brush your kid’s teeth.
- Brush gently with small, circular motions and use different sides of your toddler’s toothbrush.
- Hold the brush at a 45-degree angle to the gums and the upper and the lower teeth.
- Start with the teeth in the back and move to the front.
- Place the tip of the brush in an upright position while you brush the back of the front teeth on the upper and the lower jaws.
- Clean the margins of the gum gently.
- Brush the tongue softly to clear out any bacteria on the surface.
- Encourage your toddler to spit out the toothpaste.
- Help your kid in the basin once he’s done brushing.
- After every use clean the toothbrush and rinse it dry.
Tips for Brushing Toddler’s Teeth
If you have a reluctant kid who doesn’t like brushing, getting your toddler to brush teeth can be quite tiresome. Here are a few steps you can follow to encourage your kid to brush regularly.
- Let your toddler choose his own brushes and toothpaste. A colourful brush and toothpaste that tastes good and has his favourite characters on it can encourage him to voluntarily brush his teeth.
- Brush with your kid and help him enjoy the moment with some company.
- Make it fun with peppy music or by humming his favourite tunes.
- You can also get an attractive battery powered toothbrushes or toothbrushes that play tunes until it is time to stop.
- You can go a step ahead and allow your child to practice on you. Even better, you can get him a toy and help him practice brushing on it.
- Create a game while brushing. You can make brushing exciting by inventing little imaginary games where your child is defeating the germs and bacteria inside his mouth.
- Stand in front of the mirror and let your kid watch himself brush.
- Award him with praises or little rewards like stars for brushing.
A regular practice of these kid-friendly methods can get your child make brushing a regular part of his routine in no time.