5 ways to keep your toddlers teeth healthy

Brush your teeth
Clean and Floss
Show those cavities
Who's the boss!


Brush, brush, brush your teeth (Remember Row, Row, Row your boat?)
Brush, brush, brush your teeth
At least two times a day
Cleaning, cleaning, cleaning, cleaning
Fighting tooth decay!
Brush, brush, brush your teeth.
Brush them everyday.
Up and down, and round and round.
Scrub those germs away.

Those were two little rhymes that I would sing with Benjamin when it came time to brush his teeth. He has been free of cavities so far, but a few weeks ago while on Twitter I decided to get some expert advice from a pediatrician. I asked for 5 suggestions only, and Dr. Chris Bowman of Advanced Dentistry of Charlotte in Charlotte, NC had these quick recommendations. He was able to give them to me in two tweets. That's pretty impressive.

  1. Brush their teeth twice a day - According to the American Dental Association, teeth should be brushed twice a day. Brushing your toddler's teeth helps to remove plaque which can cause tooth decay and eventually lead to gum disease.
  2. Make brushing fun with music or rhymes like the ones above - This makes brushing fun, and keeps children engaged.
  3. Xylitol gum and or mints - In 1963, scientists discovered that the natural sweetener Xylitol slows down the adhesion of the oral bacterium Streptococcus mutans. So worry not. A piece of Xylitol gum or a mint from time to time can actually help.
  4. Give them low sugar juice - Juice contains large amounts of several sugars which can harm developing teeth. Remember babies should have no more than 2 oz. of juice a day while toddlers and adults should have no more than 4 oz. of juice a day.
  5. Avoid constant use of sippy cups - Sippy cups can cause cavities if children drink sugary drinks from them all day. When toddlers drink from sippy cups, they bathe their six upper front teeth in whatever sweet drink happens to be in the cup. The best thing to do is only give them their sippy cup at mealtime.

On a final note, don't forget to take your son or daughter to the dentist shortly after their first tooth appears or before their first birthday, and every 6 months after.