If you're like most parents, you of course want your son or daughter to get off to a great start when it comes to their health, and that includes their dental care. While you can control this process completely while your child is a baby, things can get more complicated once they mature into the toddler stage. This is a critical time to teach your child good habits and make sure they do not develop bad ones when it comes to their dental care. Here are a few tips that may help.
Have "Family Brushing Time"
If you want your child to get into the habit of brushing their teeth on a regular basis, you need to lead by example. In order to make sure they brush their teeth twice daily, take them into the bathroom with you when you brush yours. You can provide instructions and help them brush if they are still too young to do a decent job on their own. If you set this up as a fun, shared experience, your child will likely look forward to it and it may also help overcome any fears they have about the dentist's office as well.
Easy on the Juice Boxes
Most young children enjoy drinking from a juice box or some other easy to drink package with a straw. Parents like these, too, because they can often give them some peace and quiet while their toddler sucks away on the straw. But while juice can be healthy, it can also lead to tooth decay. Juice boxes often contain some amount of sugar and citric acid. If your child is constantly sipping on the straw, and allowing the liquid to pool inside his or her mouth before swallowing, this is going to lead to a problem Pour the juice into a cup instead, and don't serve more than 8 ounces a day.
Let Your Child Have Some Say
As your child matures, he or she will develop his or her own personality. With that said, your child may benefit from being given a little bit of independence when it comes to their dental care, even at this young age. One way you could do this is by letting your child pick out his or her own brush or choose their own toothpaste. Just find them some options that are safe and effective before you let them pick.
If your child is now a toddler, it's time to start developing some healthy dental care practices that will hopefully stay with them for life. By following these tips, you can ensure your child gets started on the right path. Don't forget to contact a family dentist (such as Michael C. Cordora DDS, PLLC) for additional advice.