Advice from the Dental Experts in Brooklyn:
What is the best way to teach dental hygiene and habits to toddlers and young children?
"Make brush time fun and reward kids for their good behavior. Teach them to brush their teeth for at least two minutes in the morning and night and after starchy and sugary food; you can help them by using a kitchen timer."
-Robert B. Souferian, DDS, of Family Dental Care
"Good dental habits start very early by cleaning the mouth after feeding, even with no teeth present. The first dental visit should be as early as age one; if you start early, it becomes part of the routine."
-Reneida Reyes, DDS, MPH, of Pediatric Dentistry
"For kids under eight, parents should brush their teeth for two minutes in the morning and at night. Some parents threaten their kids with a dental visit, but instead, they need to encourage them."
-Julie Cernigliaro, DMD, Associate Director of Lutheran Medical Center, private practitioner, and pediatric dentist
"Make it fun and find something that the child loves like a cartoon character. Often a quick search on the Internet can turn up a toothbrush with the character and the child will consider brushing his teeth a game. It takes patience and creativity, but the end result will be a toddler who loves to brush."
-Kevin J. Hansen, DDS, Kevin J. Hansen, PLLC
"Children need to brush three times a day: morning, afternoon, and before going to bed. Parents can try to make an arrangement with teachers so the kids brush after lunch."
-Desiree Laracuente, DMD, Residency Program Teacher at Lutheran Medical Center
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