Advice from the Dental Experts in Nassau County, Long Island:
What is the best way to teach dental hygiene and habits to toddlers and young children?
"Get your kids involved and make it fun. Take your children to their favorite store and let them choose their favorite toothbrush, toothpaste or mouthwash. Or, encourage good oral hygiene by taking fun pictures and making a "perfect smile" scrapbook for both of you to work on together."
-Steven Boral, DDS, of Nassau Pediatric Associates, P.C., in Franklin Square
"It's all a preventive strategy-parents need to take the initiative because kids like routine. Be persistent even if your kids don't like it."
-Stacey Reynolds, DDS, of Pediatric Dentistry of Garden City
"Make it a family affair as often as possible. Performing your daily oral hygiene routine with ease makes the process seem like less of a chore or punishment when it's your child's turn."
-Sky Berdahl, DDS, of Flower Hill Kids in Roslyn
"Parents must teach by example; when their children observe good brushing and flossing habits, they will develop their own good habits more readily."
-Jodi Guttenberg, DDS, of Kidds on Park Dental in Rockville Centre
"Infants and toddlers learn most effectively by modeling the behavior they see. Have your child come into the bathroom and watch you as you brush and floss your teeth. Also, make a big deal about giving your child his/her own toothbrush."
-Mahnaz Khan, DDS, of Hirsch, Ehrenman & Khan, DDS, PC, in Westbury
"Make it rewarding for the kids and give them positive reinforcement. A lot of kids brush really fast, so using a timer can help them take their time."
-Mehrzad Simoni, DDS, of North Shore Pediatric Dentistry in Great Neck
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