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by NYMetroParents Staff

Related: teeth, brush, brushing, dental, hygiene, basics, toddlers, young, children, kids, teach, ask the experts, expert, advice, tips, guidelines, for parents, Queens, NY,

Advice from the Dental Experts in Queens:

What is the best way to teach dental hygiene and habits to toddlers and young children?

"Allow children to observe Mom and Dad brushing their teeth. Make the brushing experience a fun one at home: play your child's favorite song while you brush his teeth, purchase a bright colored toothbrush displaying a cartoon character and use a toddler safe toothpaste with a pleasant taste."

-Simon Cheirif, DDS, of Pediatric Dentist in Forest Hills

"Make it simple: explain to kids that it's just like cleaning their bodies.  If your body is not clean, it will be unhealthy and when you do that to your teeth, it may cause them to fall out."

-Linda Lee, DDS, of Preferred Dental Care in Flushing

"Lead by example, so parents should have good dental habits as well.  Show your children that they must brush every morning and evening and sometimes even after lunch.  Also, routine and consistency are very important, so develop a regular schedule to brush and have timely visits to the pediatric dentist." 

-Suet Wu, DDS, of PC Pediatric Dentistry in Bayside

"As soon as teeth begin to erupt, they should be brushed or cleaned twice a day, especially before bedtime."

-Vered Maslavi, DDS, of Pediatric Dentistry in Bayside

"If parents want to show their kids how to brush their teeth using puppets, then they can. Be sure to brush twice a day, morning and night. The night is especially important because if there is any food left on the teeth, it serves as a pool for bacteria to grow."

-Karen Lewkowitz, DDS, and Robert L. Shpuntoff, DMD, who practice in Little Neck

"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, of Laracuente in Astoria

"Enforcing brushing after breakfast and before bedtime sets up a healthy routine that children will continue throughout their whole lives. Parents need to actively assist their children in this activity for it to be effective."

-Nazli Diba, DDS, of Nazli Diba DDS Pediatric Dentistry in Corona

Click here for more advice from dental experts in the New York metro area.

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