Questions And Answers About Dental Care During The Terrible Twos

If you are the parent of a two-year-old, then first of all: congratulations! You have made it this far already, and you are bravely conquering the terrible twos.  In addition to all of the other parenting skills needed to navigate this period of development, a little insight into the best ways to protect your two-year-old's oral health may help. Here are a few questions and answers to help you navigate the second year of your child's life, at least from a dental perspective:

How Often Should You Brush Your Child's Teeth?

At this stage, you should be brushing your son or daughter's teeth at least twice a day. Many parents prefer to brush once in the morning and once at bedtime, since the breath is freshened by the morning brushing and the teeth are protected overnight when the saliva production is minimal and the swallowing reflex is not as active.

How Often Should You See the Pediatric Dentist?

By two years of age, your child should already be visiting the dentist, but if they haven't gone yet, be sure to schedule a visit as soon as possible. It is recommended that two-year-olds visit a pediatric dentist once every six months.

Having a regular pediatric dentist will help your son or daughter enjoy the dental visit and avoid repeated bouts of apprehension, which some children experience when they meet an unfamiliar adult. Be sure to communicate any concerns about your little one's oral hygiene to your child's dentist in-person or over the phone, if questions arise later on.

My Child is Sucking His or Her Thumb. Should That be Stopped?

Well, this one is a bit more complicated than "yes" or "no." If your son or daughter is constantly sucking on his or her fingers, thumb or other objects, you should try to put an end to this habit. Try occupying your child's hands with something else, such as a hand game or a favorite small toy.

Nevertheless, many 2-year-olds suck their thumbs, and if they only  do it occasionally, there rarely is anything to worry about. 

Other Than Regular Brushing, How Can You Ensure Healthy Teeth for Your Two-Year-Old?

First of all, this is the age when you can begin flossing your child's teeth, but it is only needed if your child's primary teeth are positioned close together so that they are touching.  The bristles of a toothbrush can remove plaque and food particles from the areas between widely set teeth.To avoid excess bacteria in the mouth, discourage regular consumption of juices and sugary snacks.

Regular appointments with your local pediatric dentist are crucial, so schedule one today! For more information, contact a professional like Dr. James A. Dempsey.