Advice from the Dental Experts in Suffolk County, Long Island:
What is the best way to teach dental hygiene and habits to toddlers and young children?
"Start early. Parents need to be adamant and consistent about brushing their kids' teeth morning and night because that molds the child's behaviors and attitudes toward dental hygiene."
-Mike Ioannou, Pediatric Dentist, DMD, of Pediatric Dentistry of Suffolk County in Commack
"Parents have to do the brushing and flossing until the child is around 5 or 6 years old. It's important that the parents do it so the kids get the feeling of what needs to be brushed and it's easier for them to duplicate it."
-Peter Rosenthal, DDS, of Peter Rosenthal DDS Pediatric Dentistry in West Islip
"Parents should brush and floss with their children and give them a healthy diet with healthy snacks."
-Marc Bennet, DMD, of Adelberg and Montalvan Pediatric Dental and Orthodontics in Smithtown
"Parents have to help their kids brush and they can make a game out of it. Have them brush and then the parents can brush."
-Dr. Jonathan Altmark, DDS; Gerald H. Kreinces, DMD PC, in Commack
"Lead by example. The child is going to watch what the parent eats, what they drink, and how often they brush; those are going to be huge factors in the child's dental health."
-Mark Salerno, DDS, of Dentistry For Children and Adolescents in Oakdale
"Many young children like to practice brushing their own teeth and while this should be encouraged, parents should also brush their child's teeth until the child has the dexterity to tie his shoes."
-Dawn Sosnick, DDS, of Huntington Dentists for Kids in Greenlawn
"Developing consistency and making brushing a habit is most important in establishing good oral hygiene habits. Make it part of a routine such as putting on pajamas and always remember to present brushing as 'fun,' not as a chore."
-Robert J. Serino, DDS, of Suffolk Pediatric Dentistry in Port Jefferson Station
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