Brushing up

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.

12:0AM, May 10th 2010

comments powered by Disqus

Related articles

 
 
instagram
  • Keep your kids cosy and warm in these adorable PJs from @peteralexanderofficial ❤️ Imagine snuggling with your bubba wearing a fluffy Elmo or Cookie Monster onesie?! So CUTE!

    mother and baby Keep your kids cosy and warm in these adorable PJs from @peteralexanderofficial ❤️ Imagine snuggling with your bubba wearing a fluffy Elmo or Cookie Monster onesie?! So CUTE!

    More from the team
  • Are all your babies asleep now? 😴😴😴

    mother and baby Are all your babies asleep now? 😴😴😴

    More from the team
  • What makes a mama happy? A tidy house and a sleeping baby! We love this beautiful photo by @babydonkie 👶🏼👶🏼👶🏼

    mother and baby What makes a mama happy? A tidy house and a sleeping baby! We love this beautiful photo by @babydonkie 👶🏼👶🏼👶🏼

    More from the team
  • Proud new dad @justintimberlake has shared this adorable photo of Jessica Biel with their new son, Silas. We think baby Silas looks just like his singing Dad 👶🏼🍼💙 #justintimberlake #silastimberlake

    mother and baby Proud new dad @justintimberlake has shared this adorable photo of Jessica Biel with their new son, Silas. We think baby Silas looks just like his singing Dad 👶🏼🍼💙 #justintimberlake #silastimberlake

    More from the team
  • When you're little your birthday is the BEST day of the year. We love celebrating our kids' birthdays and seeing their excitement as their special day rolls around. We LOVE this cute birthday countdown chalkboard from @potterybarnkidsaus to make the anticipation of birthdays so much more fun 👌🏼🎉🎂🎁💖

    mother and baby When you're little your birthday is the BEST day of the year. We love celebrating our kids' birthdays and seeing their excitement as their special day rolls around. We LOVE this cute birthday countdown chalkboard from @potterybarnkidsaus to make the anticipation of birthdays so much more fun 👌🏼🎉🎂🎁💖

    More from the team
  • Congratulations to @grantdenyer and his wife Cheryl Rogers who have announced they are expecting baby number two. “We are extremely excited about welcoming a new brother or sister for Sailor to go through life with together. Its just the best news in the world.” 🍼👶🏼👣💕

    mother and baby Congratulations to @grantdenyer and his wife Cheryl Rogers who have announced they are expecting baby number two. “We are extremely excited about welcoming a new brother or sister for Sailor to go through life with together. Its just the best news in the world.” 🍼👶🏼👣💕

    More from the team
  • We love our multicultural country and whole-heartedly welcome everyone who chooses to call Australia home ❤️🇦🇺👏🏻 Brilliant initiative by @peterdrewarts #realaustralianssaywelcome

    mother and baby We love our multicultural country and whole-heartedly welcome everyone who chooses to call Australia home ❤️🇦🇺👏🏻 Brilliant initiative by @peterdrewarts #realaustralianssaywelcome

    More from the team
  • This about sums it up 👌🏼😂

    mother and baby This about sums it up 👌🏼😂

    More from the team
  • Brrr it's cold and windy tonight! 💨❄️🍂 The perfect excuse for some online shopping! We love these sweet, snuggly outfits from @pumpkinpatchkids Just right for keeping little bubbas rugged-up and toasty 👶🏼🍼💕

    mother and baby Brrr it's cold and windy tonight! 💨❄️🍂 The perfect excuse for some online shopping! We love these sweet, snuggly outfits from @pumpkinpatchkids Just right for keeping little bubbas rugged-up and toasty 👶🏼🍼💕

    More from the team
  • It was a pleasure meeting @giaan.rooney today and her adorable son, Zander. This is a behind-the-scenes peek at our photo shoot with Giaan for our upcoming mag issue 👶🏼🍼📷

    mother and baby It was a pleasure meeting @giaan.rooney today and her adorable son, Zander. This is a behind-the-scenes peek at our photo shoot with Giaan for our upcoming mag issue 👶🏼🍼📷

    More from the team