When your child begins to get their first baby teeth, it's natural to wonder about the best way to care for them. Having healthy teeth and gums in childhood is important and setting up a good oral care routine early on will help your child to make good choices when they are older.
Children have special oral care needs that make caring for their teeth a little different from how you care for your own. The toothpaste you use to brush your youngster's teeth can make a big difference in their overall oral health. There are many types of toddler toothpaste on the market, so it may be hard to know which is the best for your child. Here are a few criteria to look for when selecting a toothpaste.
Fluoride is a mineral that occurs naturally in all water sources, including the oceans. Research has shown that fluoride not only reduces cavities in children and adults, but it also helps repair the early stages of tooth decay, even before the decay is visible. Fluoride is the best cavity fighter to help keep the whole family's teeth strong — no matter their ages. However, the Australian Dental Association notes that fluoride toothpaste should only be used by children 18 months and older, or as recommended by a dental professional.
Fun flavours can help your child enjoy the experience of brushing his or her teeth. There are usually a few varieties to choose from, so you can experiment to see which toddler toothpaste flavour your child likes best. Remember, children can be choosy and will let you know if they don't like a certain flavour of toothpaste. You may need to try a few different flavours until you find one that your child likes.
Only a Small Amount is Needed
You may be tempted to squeeze enough toothpaste to cover the whole brush, but children don't need very much toothpaste. A smear or small pea-sized amount of toothpaste is what is usually recommended.
It is always a good idea to consult with your dental professional and see what toothpaste he or she recommends for your child. To encourage your child to brush their teeth you may like to use a daily chart to monitor their progress and provide them with rewards for reaching certain milestones. This not only makes the process more fun, but it also helps you ensure that your child is staying on track with their dental care.