How young is too young to start teaching oral health to your kids? Well, there are things you can do even with an infant that will get them into a good routine of dental hygiene that will last into adulthood.
Baby’s Pink Gums
Your newborn isn’t going to flash any teeth at you for 4-6 months, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t start a daily ritual of wiping down their gums after each feeding. The sugar from milk and formula can cause problems for them later if you don’t, and never allow them to sleep with a bottle in their mouths. This can not only cause dental issues from the pooling of sugary liquids that turn into acids around the incoming teeth, but ear infections can occur in the same way by entering and sitting in the eustachian tubes—even when only using water in the bottle.
Teeth Peeking Out
Now that the teeth are coming in, you can begin brushing in earnest with a soft-bristled toothbrush made for babies—but brush gently. You don’t even need toothpaste for the first couple of months until a few more of the teeth emerge. Then you can drop a tiny dab (seed-size) onto the brush and clean away. These good routines will subliminally tell your baby that this ritual is important.
Toddling and Toothbrushing
As the child becomes more independent, they’ll want to do things by themselves. Hopefully, you’ll already have them fully onboard with the twice daily (or more) routine of toothbrushing after meals This is the age you can really hit it home: 2x per day brushing, 1x flossing per day, and a visit to the dentist every 6 months.
Take Advantage of Your Adolescent
The early years of youth are your sweet spot for dental indoctrination. Make sure your kid is worshipping at the porcelain sink with toothbrush and toothpaste in hand at an early age before they become a teen contrarian. Remember, your god-like parent powers diminish once your child no longer thinks you know everything. It’s a short window of opportunity.
If you’d like more education about early oral health care, call Dr. Jacob Avner and our helpful team at Great Smiles of NY. Phone: 718-275-7300 , or come by our office in Rego Park, New York.