The Parent’s Guide to Healthy Oral Health Habits for Kids

Dental care is an important part of everyone’s health, and it is vital that proper habits begin right away to ensure healthy teeth later in life. When you have a child, there are certain steps—like visiting a family dentist in Middletown or Walden, NY—that will help develop and reinforce healthy oral habits as your child grows. Here is a quick guide to oral health habits for kids:

Start Brushing Early On

Brushing your child’s teeth and gums should start within a few days after birth. Before your child’s teeth erupt, use a moist gauze or washcloth to wipe down her gums. This action will help her get used to the feeling and routine of cleaning her teeth. As your child’s teeth begin to erupt—usually around six months of age—you will want to use a soft toothbrush and a pea-sized amount of fluoridated toothpaste to clean each tooth. Brush your child’s teeth twice a day and help her to learn the importance of regular cleanings, so she can take over brushing as she gets older.

Develop the Dentist Relationship

A strong and healthy relationship with your child’s dentist will greatly impact her dental care. Schedule the first dental visit within six months after your child’s first tooth erupts. Use this meeting as an opportunity to develop a relationship between your child and her family dentist, because he will help educate her on proper dental care. Keep all visits to the dentist as positive as possible to ensure that your child does not develop dental anxiety later in life.

Avoid Sugary Foods

Sugary items such as juice, candies, and sodas can all have a severe impact on your child’s oral health. Sugar and carbohydrate-filled items eventually become cavity-causing bacteria that will lead to tooth decay. Sugar is also a highly addictive substance that can lead to obesity and diabetes. Avoid giving your child drinks and foods with a high sugar content to ensure that she does not develop a dependence on sugary items.

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