When worrying about our little toddlers, one of the first concerns on every mom’s mind is diet. We worry about whether or not they are receiving adequate nutrition through the foods we give them, and through the ones they are willing to eat. If we don’t think they are getting the vitamins they need, then we try to make sure that they are drinking supplements such as Pediasure or taking vitamins.
However, we don’t always consider the importance of oral health in our little ones – especially when teeth aren’t even in yet. When we think about the mouths of our youngsters, we are often more concerned with teething than anything else. We often by teething rings or gels to help the pain subside, but we often overlook regular oral care.
Good oral hygiene is highly important in young children, and mom’s need to make sure that they regularly clean the mouths of their infants. Throughout years 0-2, parents need to help their kids with oral care especially if they want them to develop great oral hygiene habits later one. Great tips for caring for your child ages 0-2 mouth include:
At least once a day, you should wet down a wash cloth with warm water and then wipe down your baby’s gums. Not only will this get your child used to the idea of having something in their mouth, but it will also help prevent them from getting gum disease which even infants are susceptible to.
Once your child has a tooth, you should abandon the wet, warm wash cloth and replace it with a baby-sized toothbrush instead. These brushes are great because they are small enough to get around a baby’s mouth, and also have bristles that are not enough to not damage the gums. When brushes your baby’s mouth, remember to brush all areas of the mouth.
Your child will not need to start brushing their teeth with toothpaste until they are 2. However, some kids like to do everything mom and dad do, and sometimes this includes having toothpaste on their toothbrush. Regardless, young children do not need toothpastes with fluoride in them so make sure that the toothpaste you do give them is a kid-safe fluoride free brand.
Dentists recommend that your child has their first dentist appointment at the age of 1. This is when you will find whether or not all of that gum wiping and tooth brushing has paid off. You can also ask your child’s pediatrician to check-up on your child’s mouth if you are unable to get to the dentist.
Once you have made it past the 2 year mark, it is always important to further educate kids on good brushing habits so that they are more likely to carry on good oral hygiene themselves. Companies like Colgate even offer interactive online games to allow kids to have fun while they learn about oral hygiene – which isn’t always they most entertaining subject. There are also a variety of products such as brightly colored toothpastes and color-changing mouthwashes which will also entice your kids to practice better oral care.