12:0AM, May 10th 2010
Teeth cleaning and visits to the dentist can seem daunting at first - to both you and your littlie. Here's how to make it (almost) easy
Talk to her about the trip to the dentist ahead of time so she knows what to expect. Explain that the dentist will look in her mouth and count her teeth, using his fingers and maybe a tiny mirror to check all is well.
On the day, maybe get the dentist to have a quick look in your mouth first, so show it's not so scary. If your child is nervous, let her sit on your lap in the dentist's chair. The session won't last more than a few minutes.
Keeping teeth clean
What you need
A small, soft bristled tooth brush is good. Consider investing in a rechargable toothbrush to make cleaning easier and more fun. Use a pea-sized amount of specially formulated child's toothpaste - don't use adult toothpaste as this contains too much fluoride.
When to brush
Twice a day: after breakfast and before bed. Decay occurs when the natural bacteria in the mouth mixes with sugars in bits of food left on the teeth. An acid is then produced which attacks the tooth's protective layer of enamel.
How to brush
Sit your toddler on your lap facing away from you, or stand behind her, and gently hold her forehead to keep her still. Very gently massage the teeth and gums with the brush paying special attention to the molars as food can easily stick to their irregular surfaces. Don't put too much pressure on the teeth. Encourage her to spit when you've finished so she doesn't swallow too much fluoride. You should brush for two or three minutes - set a timer if it helps!
Can't brush...won't brush!
What can you do if your toddler refuses to open her mouth and let you in?
* Tell her she can brush your teeth for you first - if she'll let you do hers afterwards.
* Promise her a song or a story while you brush.
* Let her choose her own toothbrush - colourful or crazy novelty brushes work just as well and can make brushing much more fun when you're a toddler. There are even some that play tunes as you brush!
* Sit her in front of a mirror and have a giggle together over the funny faces she's making.
Did you know?
Too much fluoride is not good for your child (or you!). It's important to encourage your child to spit rather than swallow the toothpaste.
It's time that this new generation of hands-on dads get the acknowledgment they deserve.
Do your kids have a favourite TV show that you barely tolerate? Read Erin's latest post about her toddler's obsession with Hoopla Doopla.
mother and baby Being pregnant in Summer isn't all bikinis and floaty dresses. Today we share 10 tips to look & feel great during summertime when you've got a baby on board. Visit motherandbaby.com.au and search "pregnant summer" or buy the latest issue of Pregnancy Life + Style on sale today!More from the team
mother and baby Do you find yourself yelling at your kids when they don't listen to you or do as you ask? We learned this week that this creates a bad habit as your children learn to only respond to you when you yell - so the result is that they ignore you the rest of the time! For 7 steps on how to avoid yelling, visit motherandbaby.com.au and search "yelling".More from the team
mother and baby Baby news for our gorgeous Asher Keddie, who is expecting her first bub with her hubby. On her pregnancy cravings she revealed to news.com.au that; “I’m not big on cravings but anything dairy for some reason. I want lots of cheese and lots of pistachios.” Congrats Asher!More from the team