Aiden got his two bottom teeth this past month and as motherhood goes with every milestone comes a new challenge. Maybe this isn't a challenge but it adds a tick on my checklist everyday and it's a new responsibility and something new I have to teach A: brush your teeth twice a day and don't forget to floss. Now obviously I'm not flossing A's little teeth just yet before anyone want's to shout any profanities at me but I am 'trying' to brush them when he stops shutting his mouth like a word class wrestler and I manage to get the tiny tooth in his mouth.
A hit the nail on the head this time and sprouted his little whites just in time for, Oral Hygiene Awareness Month, who would of thought. The kind people over at Oral B sent me the Professional Care 500, it's an electric toothbrush of note and makes brushing and getting the job done so much easier.
I'm trying to have A in the bathroom when I brush my teeth in hope it will create a "monkey see, monkey do" effect and it will become easier in time. Until then here's some handy info on keeping your wee ones teeth in good health.
Pick a Child-Friendly Dentist
There are pediatric dentists who have additional training and interest in children s’ dental issues. If you don’t have one in your area, look for a dentist whose waiting room, staff attitude and interaction with children tell you it’ll be a good experience. Ask your health care provider for some suggestions if you don’t know where to start.
Visit Ahead of Time
Bring a child in before the time of the appointment to get acquainted with the place. You can also bring a well-behaved 3-year-old with you on your own check-up so they can get used to the idea.
Examine Your Own Attitude About the Dentist
Many parents have some memories of bad dental experiences, and they can sometimes give off negative messages about the dental chair without even knowing it. The parent who can be most positive about the visit should be the one to accompany the child to the dentist.
Respect Those Baby Teeth
Even though your child will lose his or her baby teeth, proper care and treatment, including fillings, sealants and extraction of dead teeth, will help ensure that the jaw and teeth underneath grow well and stay healthy. Be ready for suggestions about care that you didn’t have as options when you were a child. Also remember to ask your dentist about fluoride rinses to help better protect your child’s teeth from decay.
Establish a Routine
Going to the dentist isn’t the only thing that is important. Keeping up with a good oral health routine at home is key. Here are a few things that you can do at home between visits to maintain good oral care:
- Teach children to brush twice a day. Good times to brush are after breakfast and before bed. Supervise at least the evening brushings for children under the age of seven.
- Use a soft-bristle toothbrush. Hard ones scrape the gums. Change the brush every three months or sooner if it wears out.
- Put a timer in the bathroom. Set it for at least two minutes. According to dental recommendations, two minutes is what it takes to get the job done, and children often have difficulty keeping time.
- Make sure your child is getting some sort of fluoride. Fluoride is available in toothpastes, mouthwashes and rinses, supplements or in fluoridated tap water.
- Avoid sticky and sugary foods and drinks. They can cause decay (cavities).