Toddlers can be pretty independent, and it’s probably around this stage that you’ll find them loudly protesting their right to do everything on their own. What about brushing teeth? They either love it or hate it – and either way, you might find yourself backed into a corner! Here’s what you need to know about your toddler and their teeth.
We’ve teamed up with Children’s Panadol to provide you with lots of quick and helpful information covering many aspects of children’s health and development. We hope you’ll find them a great resource as you take care of your family every day.
Caring for your toddler’s teeth
Sometime in the next 12 months you should take your child either to the dentist or to your Child Health Nurse for a dental check. Before this time, it’s good to take them along with you to the dentist when you have your check-ups, so they get used to the environment.
Tips for cleaning teeth
- When brushing, use a special children’s toothbrush, small with extra-soft bristles.
- Always use gentle pressure, as brushing too hard can damage the gums.
- Use a junior-strength toothpaste until they’re about six years old. This has a mild flavour, is low foaming and lower in fluoride if they swallow it by accident.
- Teach them how to rinse and spit, so they don’t swallow the toothpaste.
- Night time brushing is the most important, so don’t be tempted to let your children have a snack in bed. A bottle, a glass of milk, or even an apple, can undo all your good work.
- Try not to give too many sugary snacks between meals.
- Water or milk should be your child’s main drinks, but if you do serve fruit juice or cordial it is best to give it well diluted. It is also good to give it with some food rather than by itself, because the saliva produced from chewing will help to get rid of the sugar and neutralise the acids causing decay.
Help your children brush their teeth twice a day after meals. They need your help until they’re about six years old, and have the manual skills to do a proper job themselves.
This is an excerpt from The First Five Years, which is a handy and easy to navigate book, specifically developed to help parents. It contains a comprehensive collection of practical parenting information and useful tips for your child’s first five years. If you’ve ever wanted a quick guide to refer to in the middle of the night, or to help you decide when it’s time to see a doctor, this is a resource which will help you on your way. You can view it online or download it for free at The First Five Years.
(This is a sponsored post for Children’s Panadol)