Most parents wonder how soon they should start brushing their kid’s teeth. The answer is as soon as they appear. Tooth decay is one of the most common problems with kids between the ages of 6 and 19. By the time your child enrolls in kindergarten, there is a 40% chance that he or she will have cavities.
Many parents get off on the wrong foot by neglecting baby teeth. They think that since these are temporary, there’s no reason to brush them or worry about cavities. The sooner you teach your child good dental habits, the better. It’s so important for you and your children to understand how to brush properly and when.
Though most toddlers can be a bit rambunctious, early preventive care will put your child on the right path for a lifetime of good oral health. In fact, according to a report by the CDC, children that see a dentist before the age of 5 will have lower overall dental expenses throughout the lives. That equates to fewer cavities and a brighter smile.
Once those first teeth appear, get to a drug store with your toddler and purchase a children’s toothbrush with soft bristles. Allow your child to help you choose one and talk about how great it is that they are about to get teeth. In simple terms, discuss the importance of keeping their teeth clean.
Many studies have shown that kids do have the ability to understand and absorb information like this by the age of two. Toddlers can understand simple instructions and concepts like, “Pick up your toys.” In fact, they are notorious at this age for defiantly answering “NO!” to such a command. This is a good time to introduce brushing and talk about how food can get stuck in our teeth. At two, your child should have a basic vocabulary of several hundred words.
Though many parents believe juice is a wholesome beverage to give their infants and children, this is not the case. Diets heavy in juice have been linked to childhood obesity and tooth decay. Many juices nowadays are nothing more than colored and flavored sugar-water. Always read the label if you do purchase juice for your family to ensure that you get 100% fruit juice and not an unhealthy substitute.