Introducing Proper Oral Hygiene To Toddlers

00:26 - First year: Pediatric Dentist
00:58 - Practice what you preach
01:20 - Sugar? Nah ah ah!
01:50 - Baby bottles
03:07 - No to pacifier

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Hi everybody, Harper Jones with Bow-Tiger, and you're watching Saturdays With Harper. And this week, I took my daughter to the dentist. So I thought this would be a great opportunity to talk to you all about proper oral hygiene for your toddlers and ways to introduce it, ways to avoid cavities, etc., to make sure that your children grow up with great, beautiful adult teeth.

Okay, so the first thing that you want to do is make sure that your toddler, actually before they're a toddler, at the age one you want to make sure that your child does visit a pediatric dentist. Now, I say pediatric dentist because these pediatric dentists actually specialize in children. So it's a really fun atmosphere. It's a very safe-feeling atmosphere for the child, so they're not super scared with all of the instruments and just sort of the coldness that you might experience in some dental offices or medical offices in general. So do make sure that they visit by age one.

And then the next thing that you want to do is you kind of want to instill at home best practices. And where do children learn best practices from? That would be from their family, from their parents. So make sure that you are brushing your teeth twice a day and brushing your teeth with your child so they could see how to brush their teeth. Make sure that they are also flossing and rinsing and that they kind of learn this as a routine as they grow older.

Another thing that you want to make sure that you do not provide to them is a lot of sugary substances. Of course, candy is great as a treat, but we don't want to offer it every day. And we do want to also make sure that the intake of fluid that our children are getting isn't super, super sugary. A lot of juices, or the 100% juice, it does also come with a lot of sugar, so you'll want to actually water those down so that your child or toddler is only getting about four ounces of actual juice per day and the rest is mixed in with water.

Another thing that a lot of parents I'm sure you guys have heard about is baby bottle mouth. And this is actually where the baby or toddler falls asleep with a bottle in their mouth. Now, this can cause cavities and this can also cause decay on the back of the teeth. It can be a bottle or a sippy cup really, but if you put milk formula or a form of juice in that sippy cup or bottle and then allow your toddler to fall asleep with that, they're likely to kind of let it sit there in their mouth and that causes the decay.

Now, a great solution to this, if your child has to go to bed with a drink, is just provide them with water. It's great to get them drinking water anyways. And you kind of meet them at sort of a middle ground of they get to have something to go to sleep, but you're giving them the water. So you're not having the issue of decay.

So we've gone over making sure that they do visit the dentist. Making sure that you do practice best practices for oral hygiene at home and instill them in your child as well. Make sure that you don't give them a lot of sugary foods and that you do actually water down their juices or the fluid intake that they're receiving. And then make sure that they don't fall asleep with any of that, the milk, or the bottles, excuse me, in their mouth. That is maybe one of the biggest things, the biggest issues that we see with toddlers.

Now, one other huge issue that I want to mention before we go is say no to pacis. As a baby, yes, it's completely fine for your baby to have a paci, or a pacifier, but when they become a toddler and they start getting teeth, we need to get rid of those pacis as the pacis actually kind of deter the alignment of the baby teeth, which can cause issues in their adult teeth as they come in as well. So by age two or three, we should not be using pacis anymore at all. We want to just kind of throw 'em to the birds and say we're done with them.

So anyways, I hope you guys enjoyed this little section and we will see you next week, of course, on Now also guys, if you're watching this on Facebook or YouTube, please be sure to check out our other blogs on and we'll see you next week, thanks.


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