By Keith Atito
toddler can be extremely overwhelming especially for new moms and dads. As
parents, we try to do everything that we can – from encouraging them to eat
their first bite of broccoli (yay!), potty training and teaching them how to
share their toys with other kids.
have to deal with their overall health including their nutrition, quality of
sleep and how they cope with sickness. Amidst all these, oral care often takes
a back seat, only to be revisited when our little ones experience their first
ever toothache or dental emergency.
in mind, we have gathered six practical oral care tips for parents like you.
- Take good care of your toddler’s
baby teeth. Children will eventually lose their baby teeth but that doesn’t
mean that they are not important. Your toddler’s baby teeth serve as “space
savers” for their adult teeth and the early loss of milk teeth can cause
problems in occlusion or the way the teeth and jaw come in contact with each
- Brush your toddler’s teeth with the
right amount of fluoride toothpaste in the morning and before putting them to
bed. Start brushing with a soft toothbrush as soon as the first tooth erupts.
The right amount of fluoride is safe and important in keeping your child’s
teeth strong and healthy.
- Do not give your babies or toddlers
sugary drinks at bedtime. Allowing formula, breastmilk or fruit juices to pool
in your child’s mouth can lead to a serious condition called Baby Bottle Tooth
Decay or Early Childhood Caries (ECC). When ECC is left untreated, the
infection can become serious leading to high fever, admission into the
hospital, emergency room visits, dental trauma and a much higher cost of
- Don’t leave your toddler with a
sippy cup, unless it only contains water. Sippy cups are used to help your
child switch from the bottle to a cup. It shouldn’t be used for a long period
of time – it’s neither a feeding bottle nor a pacifier. When a child take sips
of fruit juices and other sweetened fluids for extended periods of time,
they’re exposed to a higher risk of decay.
- Let your pediatric dentist know if
you notice that your toddler constantly breathes through the mouth. Mouth
breathing is very common in young children and can lead to serious
complications later in life. Mouth breathing reduces the salivary flow and
dries out the mouth which can increase your child’s risk of gingivitis,
periodontitis and bad breath. It can also lead to problems with your child’s
- Take your child to a pediatric
dentist regularly. Regular dental checkups with a specialist help prevent
dental problems like tooth decay before they arise. It is also the best time to
tackle your toddlers’ diet, oral hygiene and oral habits such as the use of
pacifiers and thumb sucking. Prevention is less traumatic and cost way less
than bringing your child for a treatment.