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It is crucial to help your child establish good oral hygiene habits during the first years of their life. If your children learn early on how to take care of their teeth, they are more likely to maintain their teeth throughout their lifetime.
Good oral hygiene begins even before your child gets teeth. Your child generally contracts mouth bacteria from you–to help prevent this, don’t share utensils with your child, and don’t do things like “cleaning” a pacifier with your mouth. Clean your child’s gums with a soft cloth before they have teeth. Once your child gets teeth, brush them gently with a soft-bristled toothbrush.
Model good tooth brushing habits. Let your child watch you brush your teeth and answer their questions. When your child gets interested in brushing their own teeth, let them, but monitor their brushing, and give them a touch-up of areas they might have missed. Don’t let them chew on their toothbrush–this can be harmful.
Another essential part of oral hygiene is regular visits to a pediatric dentist. Your child’s first visit to the dentist should be before age 1, often, but not necessarily, after the first teeth emerge. The first visit will likely just be an opportunity for the dentist to look in your child’s mouth and also a way to familiarize your child with the office.
Remember, never play up dental fears before a visit to the dentist. Don’t use threats of the dentist to coerce your child into brushing. This may seem effective, but in the long run it can have negative consequences.
To get your child started on the road to proper oral hygiene, please contact Dumont Cosmetic Dental in Bergen County for an appointment.