14-Month-Old Toddler Development: Teeth
If you're like a lot of parents, you haven't put a ton of thought into your toddler's dental hygiene. (In other words, that dentist-recommended, solid two minutes, twice a day is probably still but a dream.) But healthy baby teeth are essential for the development of healthy grown-up teeth. So now's the time to get that oral hygiene habit going. Grab that tiny toothbrush and tell your kid to "brush, brush, brush, brush, brush, brush, brush, brush, brush, brush, brush. ..." What you're thinking: "Gah! Some days I can barely remember to brush my teeth!"
- Getting your toddler to say "aaaahhhh" so you can scrub those itty-bitty pearly whites can be as tricky as getting the toothpaste back in the tube after he squeezes it out all over the bathroom. But there are ways to make the whole process a little bit easier. (You're on your own with the toothpaste, though!)
- If you haven't already taken your tot to the pediatric dentist, do. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that kids first see a dentist by 12 months. Hey, better late than never!
- Make brushing fun. Hand your kid a flashlight and have him point out the dirty teeth, buy several fun toothbrushes or take turns—you brush his, he brushes yours.
- Use a kitchen timer.Set it to two minutes and brush until it dings. Kids respond well to sound cues. Just ask Supernanny.
- Print out a Blue's Clues or Dora tooth brushing chart from Nickjr.com to give your kid a little incentive.
- If you don't brush your kid's teeth for two minutes, twice a day, every day (or heck, even once every third day for 30 seconds) and your kid has never seen the inside of a dentist's office, don't sweat it. Just try to start brushing now—and know that you are sooo not alone!
- "My daughter is going to end up with green teeth. Or no teeth at all. Either way, it's going to be my fault. I'm terrible about taking care of her teeth. I brush my teeth twice a day, so, why can't I remember to spend one minute a day scrubbing hers?"
Read more of "They're Just Baby Teeth" by Erin
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All kids grow and develop at different rates. So please don't compare your toddler with so-and-so's from across the street—you'll just drive yourself nuts. If you have any concerns, bring them up with your pediatrician at your kid's next checkup.