This is the second part of a two part post. Last week I shared my recommendations for toddler tooth brushing from a mother’s perspective. This week I’m sharing my recommendations as a dentist for keeping those little teeth in tip-top shape.
Recommendations as a dentist:
Brush your child’s teeth for 2 minutes at least two times per day. Brush all surfaces of the teeth (front, back and top).
- For children under 2, use a soft toothbrush and a little water. No toothpaste is necessary. As a mother, I found using non-fluoride toothpaste for flavor helped with compliance.
- Although many dentists recommend fluoride toothpaste after the age of 2, I have chosen to stick with the non-fluoridated toothpaste until I feel my son is able to rinse and spit well as a personal choice. At age 3, he still has a tendency to swallow the fluoride toothpaste. If a patient has cavities at age 2 or 3, pediatric dentists recommend using fluoride toothpaste but a smear amount until they can spit. If they use a smear amount, what they swallow is negligible.
- Talk to your dentist about Fluoride supplements if you have well water.
- We recommend that parents help with tooth brushing until their children are at least eight years old.
- The American Academy of Pediatric dentists recommends seeing the dentist by the age of 1. Our practice will start seeing patients as early as 2 or 3 years old. Although these early visits will be short and sweet, they are valuable to identify problems early.
Visiting your family dentist to have your child’s teeth cleaned regularly is a great opportunity for kids to learn the best way to take care of their teeth and establish a positive attitude about dental care for a lifetime of healthy teeth!
Orthodontist at Virginia Family Dentistry Chester and Virginia Family Dentistry Tri-Cities