Our pedi said 2 yrs is when she recommends a first visit. She had a list of places that were kid friendly.
For brushing, we do once at night. They do after lunch at daycare too. We use fluoride (pedi recommended) toothpaste. We do a small smear on her brush.
E "brushes" her own teeth before bed. After she's done I take the brush from her and ask her to do "aaaaahh" and make sure we actually get all of them. Then we use individual floss picks to floss our teeth. E's actually got the hang of getting the flosser in between her two upper front teeth. A few times a week I make a point to try and do a real flossing for her, but it doesn't happen every night.
I started using the floss picks after we brush our teeth together. You better bet the first time she saw me use them she wanted one of her own too. Now we do it together and it's become a good routine.
MH and I scheduled back to back dentist appointments about a month ago and took J so he could see the whole process. When it came time for the dentist to look at his teeth he stuck both hands in his mouth and started crying. Our dentist said that it's no big deal, we'll try again in six months.
He also recommended holding off on fluoride toothpaste until he can spit on demand, but we have fluoride in our water.
I had fluoride treatments on my teeth a couple of times as a kid. They paint this substance on, let it dry for five minutes, then you can brush if off an hour or so later. It sinks into the outside of the teeth and helps prevent cavities. It's easy and painless. I'd still do it if my insurance covered it.
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