Dentist Questions Teeth cleanings

Is it necessary to brush my 2 and a half year old's teeth twice per day?

My daughter is 2 and a half years old, and brushing her teeth is always a fight. I try to do it once in the morning and once before bed, but sometimes I am unable to. Is this really necessary at such a young age?

12 Answers

Yes. Bacteria do not discriminate against age.
Yes! At night the mouth is usually more dry and the potential for developing cavities is greater id all the plaque and food that has accumulated during the day is not removed before bedtime. Try to make it fun and a game with your two year old to help her to always remember to brush with you before she goes to bed. Coloring chart or something that rewards her for brushing at night! At 2 years old , her permanent teeth are already in the mouth, above and below her baby teeth; although you cant see them, so it is Important to take good care of those baby teeth until the permanent teeth come in
It is never too early for correct tooth brushing. Make an appointment with your dental hygienist who will show you and your child proper oral health care which includes fluoride, flossing as well as brushing, not to mention diet counselling.
If I would pick a time of day really to brush, it would be at night. That bedtime brushing is the most important with a fluoride toothpaste (size of a grain of rice). After her nightly brushing, only water should be given to drink and avoid any other snacks/food after her bedtime brushing.
This is necessary. One reason is that it gets the child used to the process. This makes brushing and flossing become an ingrained habit over time and an easier transition over time. Secondly it prevents plaque accumulation, gingivitis, and tooth decay. Once decay starts it can be transferred to other teeth and move quickly throughout the mouth. Additionally, cavities in primary teeth can cause defects in adult tooth during the developmental phase. Although it may not seem important, I highly recommend to keep brushing twice a day.
Yes. Once their teeth erupted they are already likely to get cavities. Make an effort to create a habit of brushing morning and evening. It's not too early to take her to your dentist. The Hygienists are great in educating the parents on what to do, how and when. One major concern is when most kids are given milk before bedtime and fall asleep without brushing their teeth. This can yield a condition named "Baby Bottle Decay" where teeth get rampant decay from the sugar acting on their teeth all night long and for several nights. Their teeth get decayed fast and to a point where the dentist is most times left with no choice but to place stainless steel crowns or even extract those teeth leading to some developmental issues. Hope this helps!
First of all, you deserve high praise for fighting the fight! Most toddlers fight with brushing, just like they can be very "determined" or "stubborn" in other aspects of the day. It can definitely be taxing on parents, so you deserve a lot of credit! Yes, it is important to brush your child's teeth twice per day. The bacteria in our mouths (they cause cavities by releasing acid onto our teeth after eating what we eat) never sleep, and cavities can creep up over time if bacteria are left on our teeth for long enough. Brushing morning and night breaks up the bacteria so they have to spend their time & energy working on rebuilding/regrowing rather than working on our teeth. Also, toddlers are in the stage of development where they are testing boundaries and seeing what they can get by acting different ways. If they believe they can get out of a task by putting up a fight - they will repeat that behavior. However, over time, if you are showing them consistently that regardless of their behavior that their teeth are going to get brushed, they tend to "give in" and begin to enjoy it as well. On the days she is more cooperative, let her participate and "help" with brushing, knowing that you will be the one to finish. If every once in a while you miss - those really rough mornings/nights - don't fret, one miss won't do it. It's what is happening the majority of the time (consistency) that counts. If you only brush once per day, that means bacteria has a full 24hrs of uninterrupted fun before they are broken up, and are more likely over time to cause cavities.
What a fun age in life both as a child and a parent! A two and a half year old usually eat/drink frequently throughout the day due to her small stomach size. Ideally, you should be flossing and brushing her teeth after each meal/snack/drink...except if it's water. The most critical time of the day to thoroughly brush a child's teeth is right before bed. In that way, you will have cleansed her teeth and mouth of everything she has consumed throughout the day and will not fuel the bacteria in her mouth to cause decay over time.
Yes! Hang in there. Make a fun game with brushing and keep it happy!
Dear Parent,

Teaching our kids good oral hygiene practices could be a twice-daily battle. But it's a fight worth having. It is very important to make brushing and flossing a part of their morning and nightly routines. You could try making brushing and flossing a fun and engaging routine by turning it to a game or play her favorite song while brushing or say a story that you are chasing and killing the sugar bugs on her teeth. At the end you could hand the brush to your child and ask them to complete the chase. Don't forget to praise her afterward for her sparkly teeth.

Hope this helps!
Try making tooth brushing into a game. Let your daughter first brush your teeth, and then brush hers. You can also let her floss your teeth and then floss hers.
Yes, children can have terrible cavities if food particles are left on the teeth esp all night. Do not give sugar drinks at night and get into the habit of twice a day brushing and flossing