If you are guilty of being lax in the teeth brushing department, you may want to read this article and think again.  This is one battle worth fighting with your toddler.  The number of preschoolers with cavities is on the rise and it appears that some parents who cannot bear to see their children scream while having their teeth brushed are later forced to watch their children have dental work performed under general anesthesia.  Yikes! I was shocked to find out that children this young can have cavities and was not surprised to read that many parents mistake cavity pain for teething. 

My girls just recently made their first trip to the dentist.  I’ve been trying to have my oldest daughter seen by our family dentist since at least her second birthday.  By the time she turned 3, she had done little more than sit in the dentist chair for 10 seconds when she tagged along on one of mine or my husband’s appointments.  Our family dentist was not concerned and seemed to think it would be best not to push her.  They didn’t feel she was ready to have her own appointment.  Huh?  She eats candy and fruit snacks and she loves sweets like her mommy so shouldn’t she have her teeth checked out?

At her 3 year old well visit, our wonderful pediatrician recommended that she see a pediatric dentist and when I called to make an appointment, the dentist wanted to see my 1 year old too.  I was baffled because my youngest only has 4 teeth but now I am glad to have started her dental care so early.  I am also relieved to have found out that my 3 year old’s teeth are in great shape and I am proud of myself and my husband as the pediatric dentist applauded us for having a good dental routine.  Maybe we do know what we are doing!

My husband or I do our best to give our 3 year old a thorough brushing at night but we let her try to brush alone in the morning because she is after all, a big girl.  We have told her countless times that if you don’t brush your teeth really good every day, you will have teeth like the Beast and stinky breath like our dog.  This seems to do the trick.  We recently started my 1 year old with brushing too, which it turns out is not ridiculous at all.

I am extremely thankful that our pediatrician recommended fluoride supplements for the girls at an early age and also preached often about the importance of limiting the amount of juice they drink.  I am also grateful to have found a dentist who understands the needs and special attention required for young children.  At 34 years old, I am still scared of the dentist.  I cannot imagine how sad it would be to see one of my babies have to get drilled.

Don’t forget to brush!

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