3 No-Nos for Toddlers that Will Hurt Their Teeth Dec 6, 2017
Baby teeth are essential to your child’s health. Healthy baby teeth will pave the way for stronger adult teeth. When you help your children take good care of their teeth, you are starting habits that will last a lifetime.
There are a number of problems that affect the oral health of children, including a bad diet, teething, and going to sleep with a bottle in their mouth. Here are three no-nos you and your child should pay attention to that may make your child’s teeth hurt.
Going to bed with a bottle. According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, (AAPD), a common cause of toddler tooth decay is going to bed with a bottle. The milk or juice from the bottle can sit in your child’s mouth all night, creating an ideal breeding ground for bacteria. Never give sweet drinks in a bottle. Try not to let your baby develop the habit of sleeping with a bottle at night or at nap time.
Eating unhealthy. Unhealthy eating habits contribute to tooth decay, too. Allowing your child to suck on candy for prolonged periods or to eat a lot of sugary foods will play a huge role in his or her teeth. Sugar can be a tooth’s worst enemy. For good dental health, cut down on how often a baby eats sugary foods and drink. Give them as part of a meal instead of between meals if you can. In fact, the AAPD recommends avoiding fruit juice for the first year, and longer, if you can because it offers no nutritional value and can harm teeth.
Not brushing. Even if your child only has some of his or her teeth, you need to start brushing them. As your child grows into a toddler, encourage him or her to start helping. In the meantime, use a little water and a soft, small toothbrush to clean his/her teeth each day. For younger babies, you can even use a washcloth. Wipe or brush gently; teeth are still soft at this time.
If you and your children avoid these three harmful habits, your children will have less of a chance of cavities or other oral health problems. If you have any questions or concerns about children’s oral health, talk to one of our dental hygienists today.