Once your child is finished teething, you can breathe a sigh of relief. The long nights of crying and discomfort are now over! But now, you need to keep a new goal in mind: keeping those baby teeth healthy. Here are four tips to ensure your toddler's teeth stay in great shape.
Switch to a straw as soon as possible.
Sippy cups are common as they help prevent spills. However, they're not a great choice for your toddler's dental health. Sippy cups put beverages, like milk and juice, in direct contact with your little one's teeth. This allows sugar to accumulate on the teeth, which encourages decay. It's best to wean your little one onto a cup with a straw as soon as possible. When they drink through a straw, the liquid bypasses the teeth and lands on the tongue.
Don't give them too much juice.
A little juice now and then can help your toddler meet their nutrition needs if they're going through a picky stage. However, juice is really high in sugar, so you'll want to avoid giving them too much. Feed your toddler real fruit instead. Slices of banana, cut-up grapes, and pieces of strawberry are all easy to eat. The sugar is less concentrated in the fruit itself, so your child won't be as prone to decay. They'll still be getting plenty of vitamins and minerals.
Brush their teeth.
Your child does need to learn to brush their own teeth, but you should hold off until they are three or four before letting them tackle this task. Little ones may miss spots and brush too quickly to completely clean their teeth. Brush your toddler's teeth yourself so you can be confident that it's done well. You can let your child practice brushing in short spurts, but always be ready to re-do the session yourself as needed.
See a dentist regularly.
Don't put off taking your little one to the dentist. They should really start going as soon as that first tooth emerges. Regular dental visits are important to ensure any issues, like cavities and gum disease, are detected early when they are easiest to treat. Plus, while you are in the office, your pediatric dentist can answer any questions you have about caring for your toddler's teeth.
With the tips above, you'll be setting your little guy or girl up for a lifetime of good oral health. For more information, check out a dentist like Alaska Dentistry For Kids!