Parents are constantly bombarded with parenting advice from medical professionals and other parents who aim change the way they raise their children. It’s nearly impossible to follow all of the advice being thrown at you, but there are some valuable tips and tricks to keep in mind when it comes to your toddler’s teeth. You may not realize how important early dental care is for your child, but almost one-third of children between ages two and five in the U.S. have tooth decay, which can affect their health and development. Schedule a dental exam with our family dentist as soon as your child’s first tooth comes in.
Tip 1: Avoid “Bottle Rot.”
“Bottle rot,” is a term used for tooth decay found in your infant’s first teeth—This often comes from putting your baby to sleep with a bottle filled with milk, juice or formula. Baby teeth are immensely important to help your child learn to eat solid food and speak properly. Instead of a sugary drink at nap or bedtime, fill the bottle with water.
Tip 2: Get Rid of Pacifiers Before Your Child Turns 3.
Pacifiers can help in the short term to soothe a child, but long-term use of pacifiers can impact the way your child’s teeth come together and he or she may end up with an overbite. Pacifier use can also increase your toddler’s risk of cavities, especially if it’s dipped in sugar or honey.
Tip 3: The Truth About Sugary Foods and Drinks.
You don’t have to withhold sugar from your child entirely. How often they have sugar is more important than how much when it comes to oral health. Repeated exposure to acid and sugar can quickly lead to cavities and causes tooth enamel to break down. Whether or not you decide to give your toddler sugar is your choice as a parent, but make sure to limit the sweets to specific times of day and have he or she drink water afterward. Dental sealants are also an option for sugar-happy children.
Tip 4: Stay Away From Gels and Rings for Teething.
The FDA heavily discourages the use of topical teething rings and gels. The gels may contain Lidocaine, which can raise severe health concerns for your teething toddler. The rings may also contain harmful chemicals, and some have low levels of BPA.
Tip 5: Lead by Example.
Your child learns everything from watching and listening to you in the first few years, and this includes oral hygiene. You can use brushing your teeth as a learning opportunity and bonding experience with your toddler. Showing your child the proper way to care for their teeth and gums now will help them develop proper lifelong dental habits.
If you live in the Fort Worth area, schedule your toddler’s dental exam and cleaning at our family dentistry office today at 817-870-5099. Museum Smiles is located conveniently in downtown Fort Worth and serves patients from Arlington, Keller and nearby areas of Texas.