The Importance of Toddler Oral Health

The month of February is National Oral Health Month, and this is a good reminder of the need to start teaching good oral health habits early. The toddler years are a good time for children to start learning how to take care of their teeth. Children at this stage are learning and getting used to daily routines, making oral care something that is easy to turn into a habit.

Fun Tools to Help Your Child

There are many fun things you can use to help spark further interest in oral care for your child. Some of the options to consider include:

  • The Tooth Fairy app from Colgate that includes a game, map to see where teeth come in, and information for parents.
  • Child-size toothbrushes featuring favorite cartoon characters.
  • Songs like Sesame Street’s “Brushy Brush” that encourage children to brush for two minutes.

Give Help As Needed

A toddler isn’t likely to have the fine motor skills to use a toothbrush very well without help. Make sure your child’s toothbrush is the right size and has soft bristles. Fluoride rinses geared towards younger children are helpful, but you should supervise your child to ensure he or she doesn’t swallow the rinse.

Encourage your child to eat fruit or other produce items as a snack, instead of sugary items. Even when your child snacks in between meals, encourage them to brush their teeth anyway. They will begin to treat this as part of their normal routine.

Other ways you can help your child follow good practices include:

  • Changing out the toothbrush about three or four times a year, plus after illnesses. Make things interesting by having your child pick out their toothbrush.
  • Make sure your child sees you eating healthy and brushing regularly. You will be setting a good example by doing these things yourself.
  • Schedule regular visits with a good pediatric dentist. These dentists know how to make younger kids comfortable and make the experience fun.

Good Dental Health Helps Later

Your child’s dental health early in life will also make an impact on their life later, especially as they progress into school. Pain issues from bad teeth and difficulty chewing foods can negatively impact a child’s quality of life. Even younger children often become self-conscious if their teeth become discolored and other children notice. If you help your child take charge of their oral health from an earlier age, they are likely to have greater self-confidence.

At Montessori School of Pleasanton, we understand the impact that personal habits can have on a child’s development and focus in school.  We encourage students to take proper care of themselves, including their dental health.  To see how Montessori education emphasizes developing the whole child, contact us today to schedule a tour.

Five Exploration Activities in Pleasanton

Exploration activities are a great way to help your child gain confidence while exploring the world around them. We are lucky that here in Pleasanton, we have plenty to do year round. Here are five activities you might want to check out that can help your child explore and grow.

5 Exploration Activities in Pleasanton

  1. Augustine Bernal Park – When the weather is nice, head out to Augustine Bernal Community Park. This is a great place to take the kids to get some energy out and to learn as they explore the outdoors. There are many different trails out there, some as small as half a mile, making it perfect for all ages. Children can explore different plants, get a little dirty, and be out in the fresh air.
  2. Mission Hills Park – If you are looking for a more confined space where you can let the kids roam and explore at their own will, Mission Hills Park on Junipero Street is just the place. Kids will love running, swinging and going as fast as they can down the big slide. Play is such a great way for kids to explore and learn and this park with 2 playgrounds, walking trails, and a creek provides the perfect spot.
  3. Play Well – This activity center for kids in kindergarten through grade eight allows children to explore and build using their favorite Lego pieces. Kids will learn about physics, engineering and creativity as they create and collaborate in these confidence building activities.
  4. Grow Canyon Community Gardens – If you are looking for a way where your child can learn how things grow, dig in the dirt, and explore the growing cycle, Grow Canyon Gardens in San Ramon is worth checking out. This large community garden has 54 plots that you can rent out year round to grow fruits, flowers, and vegetables. This can be a great daily or bi-weekly activities for the kids.
  5. Museum on Main – This museum is Pleasanton’s very own home of history but don’t let that scare you away. There are interactive exhibits and family activities to keep everyone happy. Once a month, the museum holds a special reading time program where your preschoolers can enjoy stories and crafts. The museum is located at 603 Main Street and worth checking out.

If you are looking for a school where your child can play, explore and learn on a daily basis, Montessori School of Pleasanton is a perfect choice. Come and take a tour of our school today and find out how our learning style can help encourage your child to explore the world around them.

The Supportive Parent & Successful Child

In order for a child to be successful in school, they need to have supportive parents.

While children get on the bus and head to school on their own, they still need to know that their parents are there in spirit supporting them. If you want to be as supportive to your child as possible, there are a few things that you can do.

Ask Questions

It is a good idea to ask your child questions about school often. When you ask them what they are doing in school and what they learned each day, they will see that you are as interested in their education as they are. When you ask questions, it will make your child feel more comfortable coming to you if they are struggling in any areas.

Meet Your Child’s Teacher

It is a good idea to attend the open house at your child’s school, as well as the parent-teacher conferences. When you know your child’s teacher and you can keep up with their progress, you will have a better idea of what your child is excelling in and what they need to work on. You will also know that if your child needs any specialized services, such as a tutor or extra help after school.

Set Up a Regular Homework Time

Part of being a supportive parent is being a strict parent. It is a good idea to set a regular time each day for your child to work on their homework. Make sure that they are in a well-lit area, with all of their school supplies, and they the area is free of distractions. After your child has completed their homework, you should check it. When your child sees that you are as invested in their homework as they are, they will feel that you are being supportive.

Help Your Child Prepare for Tests

When your child has a test coming up, you should do everything that you can to help them prepare. You can quiz them on their facts while you are cooking dinner, or you can create a practice test for them to complete. The more help you give your child before a test, the better they will do on the test.

Get Involved with School Events

Supporting your child in their education includes more than supporting them academically. It is a good idea to get involved with the events that are going on at school. If there is a parent-teacher organization, you should join. If your child’s class needs chaperons on a field trip, you should volunteer. If your teacher is looking for help in the classroom, volunteer. The more involved you get with your child, the more they will feel supported.

The teachers at Montessori School of Pleasanton focus on helping your child succeed. They also make parent involvement a top priority. For more information about our Montessori program, contact the school to set up a tour.