It’s never too early to start teaching your kids about oral health (even if they don’t have teeth yet!). But kidding aside, as an experienced Brooklyn family dentist, we’ve seen patients of all ages and from all walks of life. And I always tell my patients the same thing- start teaching your kids while their young, in order to avoid health problems now, and in the future . So to help get your kids started right, here are five great Oral Health Tips for Parents:
1. Start teaching brushing techniques around age 2: Start with some gentle brushing with roughly a pea-sized amount of toothpaste. Be sure to show them the proper techniques as well. The repetition will help them get into the right brushing habits for when they’re older. Around age 6, you should introduce them to flossing.
2. Avoid sugar, avoid tooth decay: It takes roughly 30 minutes for saliva to neutralize sugar, and the acidity can cause tooth decay. We know it’s hard to say no to your child when you’re standing in line at the grocery store, but try avoid sugary snacks when possible.
3. No Naps with baby bottles: Speaking of sugar and tooth decay, try not to let your baby fall asleep with a bottle (specifically sugary liquids like breastmilk or formula). Long term exposure to liquids containing sugar will dramatically increase their risk of tooth decay.
4. Put on a Brave Face for the Kids: Even as adults, some of us still get nervous about the dentist. But it’s important not to convey these feelings to our kids. Try not to act nervous during your check-ups, and encourage your kids to discuss any concerns they may have about the dentist. During these chats, be sure to avoid using words like “hurt” or “pain” or anything that might needlessly frighten.
5. Schedule a Dental Appointment: Your child should see the dentist right around their 1st birthday. They’ll be able to get their baby teeth checked for cavities and this will set a precedent for the future, and get your kids started on a routine of regular dental visits.
Most importantly, it’s never too early to start thinking about your kids oral health. And if you’re looking for a family dentist in New York, we can certainly help! Modern Dentistry has been serving Brooklyn NY for years, and can help you and your family with all your oral health needs. If you’d like to learn more, please give us a call today at (718) 339-6000 or you can set an appointment online: Online Appointment