August 20, 2012

Toddlers & Teeth

This has been a topic of conversation on the reg in The Dew house, toddlers + dentist. I'm pretty sure Kendall has all but her 2 year molars now and so I know the first visit is fast approaching.  Good thing I have good friends, like Carey, to keep me informed.  I'll be back tomorrow with some beach pics for you picture whores.  I missed you too.  Truly.
Being as how my profession involves cleaning teeth everyday, I definitely had built up this image in my head as to how I wanted Caleb's first dental visit to go. I mean, I brush his teeth every morning and night so he's used to having me poke around his mouth, pull his cheeks to see his back teeth, etc. But the actual dental visit, in the chair, using a cold metal mirror instead of just my fingers...I feared the worst (screaming, crying, tears), just like every mother. 

Jon was getting his teeth cleaned first which I think helped Caleb see that it wasn't so scary to ride in the chair or use the sucker straw. Although, he really just watched TV the entire time and could have cared less what daddy was doing. 

So once I was done with Jon, it was time. We let Caleb out of his stroller that we had him strapped in sitting in and you would never guess what he did. 

Climbed in the chair! All on his own! 

He was my little two year old toddler man being such a big boy! And not only did he sit in the chair, he let me lay him back, look in his mouth and even brush his teeth. No thanks to the amazing iPhone for keeping him so calm but I seriously was tearing up. I'm sure the pregnancy hormones had nothing to do with that ;)

Thank you to my sweet husband (and IG) for capturing this moment. It's just another milestone to tack on to the record books for my baby boy. 

It was definitely a proud momma moment :)


And below is just a list of some helpful tips for parents and taking their kids to the dentist. I've been asked questions from a lot of fellow blog I figured it may just be a good idea to list a few of the important things ;)
  • Try to have your child go with you to dental cleanings. It will help ease anxiety over what happens at the dentist and to see the dentist isn't so scary.
  • Start brushing at home at an early age, even before any teeth pop in. Use a cloth to simply wipe the gums a few times a day and then introduce a toothbrush down the road. This will help acclimate your child to having your fingers in his/her mouth....and reduce biting once those teeth do come in ;)
  • I recommend a first dental visit sometime between two and three years old. The ADA recommends by 12 months but personally, I feel that's too early. Of course if you sense a problem with your little one, get them in.
  • Introduce floss as soon as teeth begin to touch. It doesn't have to be textbook technique but make it part of the routine.
  • There is no magic age when to switch from "training" toothpaste to the real stuff. And honestly? Topical fluoride isn't of great importance until adult teeth start coming in around age 5-7. The biggest concern with fluoridated toothpaste is swallowing it because it can cause an upset tummy, spots on the developing adult teeth and possibly more severe complications depending how much they swallow.
  • Use the proper toothbrush for your child's age! And if you can invest in a power brush, that would be ideal.
If you have questions about kiddos and teeth, feel free to email them careyandjon {at} hotmail {dot} com or leave them in the comments but leave an email for me to respond! And remember, I am a trained and educated dental professional but these are simply my opinions and you should always ask your own dental hygienist what they think too! :)



  1. Thanks for the tips. My one year old has quite a few teeth and when our doctor suggested us making him a dentist appointment, it kind of stunned me. I didn't think that the dentist came this soon!

  2. I had a dream last night that my 6 month old all of the sudden sprouted 5 teeth... and I was brushing them! So weird!
    But seriously, I am kind of excited about that. I am one of those people who loves getting her teeth cleaned, and I am sure I'll love getting the kiddo's cleaned, too!

  3. Great tips! Our kids have their 2nd appt this thursday fingers crossed!


  4. thank you so much for posting this! I took my LO to the dentist right around 11 months & it scared him half to death. It didn't help that the dentist, who is a pediatric dentist, rushed the appointment, didn't do much {or explain}, and let his assistance do most of the work. I was a tad PO & won't be returning to that dentist. After trying for months to get my LO to let me brush his teeth, it's finally working. I switched to a different toddler toothbrush & added in training toothpaste, which I think helped a lot! My only question is, how to you get the top front teeth? My son curls his upper lip over those teeth & I haven't figured out a good strategy to clean them. I just imagined pinning him down & forcing his lip to uncurl..sound dramatic & scary, so I never actually do it. my email is

  5. Thank you for saying 12 months is too early for the dentist! I know so many people taking their kids at 1 and our dentist said around 2 he would like to see him. I'm glad the man that has been taking care of my teeth my whole life knows what he is talking about!