Brushing up

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

Once your toddler's first teeth are through, it's important to take her along to the dentist for regular checks. This will ensure that any problems with decay are detected early, and will help your child get used to the experience.

The chair
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.

comments powered by Disqus

Related articles

 
 
instagram
  • This photo of baby Sophia - daughter of @katewaterhouse7 - meeting Santa for the first time is so sweet. We'd love to see your Santa photos! Tag us with the hashtag #mandbxmas

    mother and baby This photo of baby Sophia - daughter of @katewaterhouse7 - meeting Santa for the first time is so sweet. We'd love to see your Santa photos! Tag us with the hashtag #mandbxmas

    More from the team
  • Sven cookies for Christmas anyone? We love Frozen and we know your kids do too!

    mother and baby Sven cookies for Christmas anyone? We love Frozen and we know your kids do too!

    More from the team
  • Whenever we say we're heading  to bed we get distracted by these jobs around the house and MORE! #motherandbaby #mumfact

    mother and baby Whenever we say we're heading to bed we get distracted by these jobs around the house and MORE! #motherandbaby #mumfact

    More from the team
  • As if mums need something else to feel guilty about, but new research has found a link between mothers' employment and their preschoolers' BMI.

For the full article visit motherandbaby.com.au and search "kids bmi"

    mother and baby As if mums need something else to feel guilty about, but new research has found a link between mothers' employment and their preschoolers' BMI. For the full article visit motherandbaby.com.au and search "kids bmi"

    More from the team
  • Talking today on the web about finding it difficult to hear bad news stories to do with children. "Since having my own children, this is my consistent reaction to confronting news stories involving children. I've become overly-sensitive to watching and listening to the news."
Visit motherandbaby.com.au and search "Disturbing News"

    mother and baby Talking today on the web about finding it difficult to hear bad news stories to do with children. "Since having my own children, this is my consistent reaction to confronting news stories involving children. I've become overly-sensitive to watching and listening to the news." Visit motherandbaby.com.au and search "Disturbing News"

    More from the team
  • One day we shall all sleep in again. One day.

    mother and baby One day we shall all sleep in again. One day.

    More from the team
  • We can't help but smile every time we see this happy little bubba and his gorgeous Mama pop up in our feed! Follow Bobby and his mum Sophie at @theyoungmummy 👍

    mother and baby We can't help but smile every time we see this happy little bubba and his gorgeous Mama pop up in our feed! Follow Bobby and his mum Sophie at @theyoungmummy 👍

    More from the team
  • Christmas is such a special time of year. Ignite the magic and joy of Christmas in your baby, toddler or child with our list of favourite children's Christmas books. Visit motherandbaby.com.au and search "Christmas books" to see our picks! #MandBxmas

    mother and baby Christmas is such a special time of year. Ignite the magic and joy of Christmas in your baby, toddler or child with our list of favourite children's Christmas books. Visit motherandbaby.com.au and search "Christmas books" to see our picks! #MandBxmas

    More from the team
  • It's official! We're starting our Christmas countdown. Are you excited for the silly season? #MandBxmas

    mother and baby It's official! We're starting our Christmas countdown. Are you excited for the silly season? #MandBxmas

    More from the team
  • QUESTION: What is the age gap between your kids? Jessica Simpson @jessicasimpson has her hands full with her daughter, Maxwell and son, Ace only 13 months apart.

    mother and baby QUESTION: What is the age gap between your kids? Jessica Simpson @jessicasimpson has her hands full with her daughter, Maxwell and son, Ace only 13 months apart.

    More from the team