Your oral health can decline well before you even know how to take care of your teeth. It’s up to us as parents to protect our child’s oral health, just as our parents did for us. Getting your toddler to brush their teeth – even when doing it for them – can sometimes seem nearly impossible. Just remember, they only rely on you temporarily to protect their teeth, so don’t give up! Preventing tooth decay (and cavities) begins before your baby’s teeth even poke through their gums. Fortunately, it often becomes easier as they grow, especially when they’re already accustomed to these preventive measures.
Your Baby’s Oral Health
Before your baby has teeth, you can gently brush their gums using a finger toothbrush. Not only will this keep their gum tissue health, but it also encourages them to get used to the feeling early on.
When your child’s teeth begin growing in, you can switch to a toddler toothbrush and continue to help them brush twice each day. No need to break out the floss just yet – but once their teeth begin to come in close together (or touch), it’s time to teach your toddler about flossing.
Lead By Example
How often does your child watch you brush your teeth? Leading by example is one of the best ways to teach oral hygiene. If you’re struggling to brush your toddler’s teeth, try brushing your own teeth right alongside them – you never know, they may just surprise you!
Don’t forget to schedule their first dentist appointment around their first birthday, or, 6 months after their first tooth erupts. Visiting the dentist can not only aid in optimizing your child’s oral health, but can also further encourage them to brush their teeth!