Important Dental Habits for Children

In Blog, Dental Care by Dr. Lattinelli

Children Dental Habits in Murray Hill | Cosmetic Dentistry Midtown Manhattan

It’s never too early to start working on good dental habits, and children may avoid later problems if they develop behaviors that encourage proper dental care. Many children don’t have good habits about brushing their teeth or flossing, and parents need to take the initiative to teach them proper techniques. It can save children a lot of discomfort and parents a lot of money over time when children follow proper dental habits.

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It’s never too early to start working on good dental habits, and children may avoid later problems if they develop behaviors that encourage proper dental care. Many children don’t have good habits about brushing their teeth or flossing, and parents need to take the initiative to teach them proper techniques. It can save children a lot of discomfort and the parents a lot of money over time when children follow proper dental habits.

Even infants are candidates for dental preventive care. An infant’s gums should be gently cleaned with a soft damp cloth or an infant’s toothbrush after every feeding. Once a tooth comes in, switch to a soft child’s toothbrush with a tiny bit of fluoride toothpaste after meals. As more teeth come in, continue brushing the same way.

Once a child is about two years old, you can add a bit more toothpaste, perhaps an amount equal to a water droplet or a pea. This should continue until about age 6, at which time good brushing habits are hopefully habitual and the child can continue with soft toothbrushes and a normal amount of toothpaste. Always teach your children to spit out toothpaste rather than swallow it.

Don’t use milk or juice to soothe a child at nap or sleep times. There is a lot of sugar in any juices or milk which can contribute to tooth decay over time. Children should only be given water outside of meals or snack times. If you give a child juice or milk, teach them to rinse their mouths with water if you aren’t able to brush their teeth. This will minimize the sugary residue.

Some other things to do or avoid with children for good dental health —

  • Avoid sharing utensils with your child, or wetting a pacifier with your mouth before giving it to your child. This can transfer bacteria that can harm young teeth, and should be avoided.
  • Start flossing a child’s teeth as soon as they have two teeth next to each other, because the spaces between adjacent teeth are where plaque can develop and contribute to decay.
  • Take your child to a dentist early. It is often recommended to visit the dentist when the first tooth appears, and no later than one year old.

Dr. Lattinelli is happy to help you with any questions you may have concerning good dental health and proper preventive care for your children. Contact us today for a consultation, and we wish you good dental health!