5 things I did not know about toddler’s teeth

I recently brought Vera for her routine dental check-up. This was her second time visiting a dentist, but her first visit to this particular dentist called Dr Tay. (We decided to change because we found the first one a bit on the expensive side.)

Through the process, I found out some interesting tidbits about teeth and thought I would share them with you.


1) Don’t rush to switch to fluoride toothpaste for toddlers

Why? Fluoride causes fluorosis when swallowed, which leads to the discolouration of adult teeth.

So this dentist advised to wait till your child is more mature, closer to 4 years old or even above, as they need to be able to gargle properly (they should be able to swish water around the mouth) and spit out the toothpaste.

2) Pacifier is better than thumb

Why? Simply because the thumb is harder to wean off than a pacifier, and may actually cause the teeth to shift out of alignment if the frequency and extent of thumb-sucking is high. (In this dentist’s opinion at least.)

3) Gaps between baby teeth are good

As adult teeth are bigger than baby teeth, they will fill up more space than when the baby teeth were around. So if your child has gaps between his teeth now, don’t fret, it’s actually a good thing.

Vera actually has very little space between her teeth now, which looks good but actually means that the chances of having adult teeth that are overcrowded are high.

Read more: All about toddler teeth

4) You should floss your toddler’s teeth

This is something that most of us know we should do, but procrastinate. How many of us faithfully floss every day anyway? (At least, I know I struggle with that.)

But there are definitely benefits of starting to floss when young. First, you build a good habit for your child. Second, it gets rid of the icky stuff that hides between the teeth, which leads to better hygiene and less plaque/cavaries.

All we need to do is lie them down facing up, use a thread of normal floss and gently go in and out between their teeth. For starters, we don’t need to use any zig-zag action, nor do we need to go too deep beneath the gum-line.

5) Get rid of plaque using soft cloth

Vera has a yellowish stain on one of her front teeth, and initially we were quite worried that it was caries. Thankfully, it turned out to be a stubborn layer of plaque. The dentist advised us to use a clean cloth and rub against the tooth enamel area often. This is more effective and less abrasive than using a brush to brush against her tooth.

He also asked us to make sure that her teeth has a shiny surface after brushing.

By the way, I must say I really like this dentist. He’s everything a mum would want in her child’s dentist.

  • He’s gentle (this is top top top priority. Everything else falls flat if this first criteria is not met.)
  • He’s good with children (this comes a very close second.)
  • He’s thorough and detailed (he took the time to explain everything he was doing, what he was looking for, and what I should do on a daily basis with Vera)

Granted, his clinic occupies only a small space, and doesn’t boast added frills such as a dedicated TV for distracting the children while he works on their teeth. (There is a TV showing cartoons at the reception area though.) But I guess this is why his prices are very reasonable too.

I’m not advertising for him (and I’m not even sure he wants to be publicised given his rather long booking schedule), so I won’t be sharing his details publicly on this post. But if you’re really really keen to try him out, drop me an email to ask okay?

What have you learnt about caring for your child’s teeth?


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  1. littlebluebottle says

    I recently visited my own dentist and was pleased to learn that he cleans children’s teeth too! Now to convince the little one to go… lately her response to questions is a default noooooooo….

    • admin says

      I remember reading a book on going to the dentist (actually it was a sticker book which made it more fun). Try not to make too much of a deal of it, but make it sound important (it’s what big girls do), and also fun (if you can, haha).

  2. says

    Great things to know about toddler teeth June. I can’t stand the yellow plaque on their teeth and I’ve been told to use an electric toothbrush to get rid of them (which probably is too abrasive). I do that like once a month on top of using a wet cloth to rub them off.

    Nice new header, by the way 🙂
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  3. MummyEd says

    Did you know that if you suck your thumb (like I did when I was young), dentists might be able to tell with one look at you (when you’re an adult) because it could affect your jaw shape?? :O
    MummyEd recently posted..Cardiac Surgical ReviewMy Profile

  4. Alisa says

    Would you care to share more info on the dentist? The current dentist i go to does not see young children

  5. Natalie says

    Hi, I’d like to know the dentist u went to.. Myson is terrified to visit the dentist again.. Didn’t hv a good experience with the last dentist.. Many thanks!

  6. says

    Personally, I make attempts to avoid fluoride toothpaste due to the relative toxicity. Even if you make attempts not to swallow it it still gets swallowed even a tiny bit. Thanks for writing!
    Aaron C. recently posted..TestMy Profile

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