Advice from the Dental Experts in Westchester County, NY:
What is the best way to teach dental hygiene and habits to toddlers and young children?
"Good dental habits start young! Toddlers and young children should be encouraged to brush at least twice a day and parents should help children brush until at least age six. Avoid sugary snacks and juices and encourage your child to drink water."
-Dr. Ivis Getz, DMD, of Caring for Kids Pediatric Dentistry in New Rochelle, NY
"Get into the habit of brushing twice a day. Don't use toothpaste until your children can spit out; in the meantime, use baby toothpaste without fluoride."
-Penny Resnick-Graulich, DMD, of Main Street Pediatric Dentistry in Tuckahoe, NY
"Parents should do the brushing until the child is in first grade and maybe sing a song to make it fun. Children learn from their parents, so if the parent has a good brushing routine, the children will want to emulate that."
-Christine Dowling, DDS, of Somers Pediatric Dentistry in Somers, NY
"When the first tooth erupts, begin brushing your child's teeth with a small soft bristled toothbrush twice daily and take your child for his first dental exam by age one. Allowing your toddler to help brush his own teeth is an excellent way to engage your child and help him develop good oral hygiene practices."
-Dayna Olstein, DMD, and Ann Guerra, DDS, of Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics in Briarcliff Manor, NY
"The key to good oral health is prevention. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that the first dental visit be at age one or six months after the first tooth erupts, whichever is first. Early intervention of small carious lesions ensures a quick, frequently painless procedure, which can go a long way in reinforcing to the child that the dentist is a 'friend' not a foe."
-Renuka Bijoor, DDS, of Briarcliff Pediatric Dentistry in Briarcliff Manor, NY
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