Toddler Dental Care
By the age of 3, most children have likely acquired all 20 primary teeth and are eating regular solid food. Reinforcing a healthy diet and establishing a dental routine is extremely important. Eating right and brushing and flossing correctly on a regular basis are necessary components for the development of healthy mouths and bodies.
Your toddler's dental care is also important because of their developing speech and breathing patterns. Position of the teeth, jaws and tongue form the shape of a child's mouth, face and upper airway. In addition, the teeth, jaws and tongue helps him/her speak and breathe clearly. Many sounds necessary for developing good language skills cannot be formed unless the teeth are healthy and aligned with well-positioned tongues and jaws.
Many scientific studies confirm that mouth-breahing is unhealthy and can lead to imbalanced and unattractive faces. Well-positioned teeth, jaws and tongues are also crucial to a child's ability to develop and maintain a healthy nasal breathing pattern. Bringing your toddler for professional dental care allows us to identify irregular jaw and facial growth patterns that can be detrimental to a growing child's health and wellness. Often, through the use of a simple appliance, an irregular growth pattern can be successfully altered. The earlier the abnormality is diagnosed, usually, the easier the treatment!
Nutrition is an important part of toddler dental care. At this age, children are eating more often during the day, and snacks are common between mealtimes. Give your child healthy snacks, such as fruits or vegetables, and don't feed them sugary or starchy snacks that lead to cavities. Make sure to help your child brush after snacks in addition to brushing after meals to clear bacteria. Don't forget to brush your child's tongue as well.
We encourage parents to practice healthy dental and health habits at home in addition to visiting the dentist regularly. Teaching your child to brush his or her own teeth is important. Most young children are opposed to brushing their teeth at some point, but there are ways to make brushing and flossing 'fun' for your child. There are many options these days such as 'singing' toothbrushes, and flavored floss that can make the process more bearable for a toddler. Remember that you will need to check their work until they're school aged to make sure they are brushing and flossing correctly.
Bringing your children to the dentist at this age establishes good dental habits and teaches them to value their health. It also allows us to prevent decay and other oral health concerns.
Toothbrushes are designed to be replaced every 3-4 months. If a cold or sore throat strikes, maybe earlier. Bugs that make your toddler sick can stick to the bristles in his or her brush and reinfect your child. At the very least, place a toothbrush in a small cup of mouthwash for 10 minutes and rinse after a cold or sore throat.