Toddler Care 101 – Keeping Healthy Teeth

As the parent of a growing child, there are many questions you have about toddler care. These include oral hygiene questions, like when you need to visit the dentist for the first time, whether or not a toddler needs to floss, and whether they need braces now as opposed to later in their lives. Unless you are a dentist specializing in oral hygiene, like the folks over at, it gets pretty difficult to determine the level of care your kid needs. The primary goal of any parent is evidently the prevention of dental cavities, but the how is the part that might escape you.

When Do Children Have to Start Brushing Their Teeth?

Immediately. The basis of great teeth is having the care begin the moment your baby gets their first tooth. You might think that these teeth don’t develop till a few months after birth. In reality, your child had teeth six months into your pregnancy (twenty of them, to be exact). While you can’t see them, they are there, just out of sight, but fully developed.

When your child hits the age of two, start to teach them how to spit while they are brushing their teeth. Before spitting, this exercise needs to be done without water to rinse their mouths. You might think that water makes it simpler to swish the toothpaste around and spit it. But the truth is that it makes it easier to swallow toothpaste while swishing it in their mouths. This could lead to toxicity problems in children that young.

Set Special Drinking Times and Methods

If you have a baby, you’ll be feeding them when you want to. Keep a routine and assign special times for drinking fluids during the day. These times ensure that your child’s fragile teeth aren’t always grinding against each other through a bottle. If your baby is older than six months old, switch them over to a sippy cup, as it can be less damaging than a bottle. Straws are your best bet, although they can pose a choking hazard to the more inquisitive children. By the time they hit one years-old, they will be able to use a standard toddler cup on their own.

When Do You Take Them to the Dentist?

You don’t have to visit the dentist right away with your child. You can wait till their first birthday to do this. A dentist will give you some incredibly useful advice about what the correct ways to brush and floss your child’s teeth are as they continue to grow. A good dentist will also check your baby's mouth, teeth, and jaw for deformities and issues, so that they can be remedied before they get out of hand.

Not all dentists are good at taking care of dental issues common in children. The best dentist to visit is a pediatric dentist, someone who specializes in child care. This dentist will give you advice that can be used for years to assist in the development of healthy teeth and gums.

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