Just like many other habits and traits in life, it’s never too early to start off healthy dental habits. Good healthy dental habits can be introduced as early as the baby stages. Baby teeth start to come in at around 6 months and continue until about 2 ½ years of age. They help us with our first smiles, our first table foods, and even to talk, so it’s important to introduce healthy dental habits right from the get-go.
The best step to take and teach your little ones is good brushing and flossing. Make this a fun thing. Do it simultaneously with your children or sing a song (“Happy Birthday” is a good one for starters) while they brush their teeth. It’s important that you turn this into an activity and habit that you practice together because children often mimic their parents/caregivers. Kids learn best from us!
Make sure to use a soft-bristled toothbrush and toothpaste with fluoride in it. It’s also important to teach your kids not to swallow the toothpaste! A good rule to instill and follow at a young age is the 2-2-2 rule; brush your teeth 2 times a day, for 2 minutes, and make sure to see your dentist 2 times per year for cleanings. Even though the baby teeth start falling out around 6 years of age, it’s so important to teach healthy oral habits young, as these habits will follow through and last them a lifetime.
You should start bringing your children to the dentist for cleanings as early as 1 year old. Unfortunately, a lot of children don’t start coming to the dentist until a problem starts to exist. It’s so important to start bringing your children to the dentist at an early age – both for health reasons and for their own comfort. Chances are if you start bringing them early in life, they will be more comfortable later on as they’re growing with going to the dentist. Kids who start going later on tend to be more afraid and timid at their appointments and it may take a few appointments for them to be comfortable enough to even open their mouths for the hygienist or dentist!
As parents, we take so many precautions and instill so many positive habits in the hopes that our children will take them on as their own and grow up to be mature, responsible adults. From which pediatrician to see, to breast feeding or bottle feeding, to cloth or disposable diapers, to what type of car seat is the safest for our little ones…all of those are decision we face and make based on what we think is best. So many times another positive ‘habit’ such as early brushing or early trips to the dentist are overlooked. Don’t wait any longer!
Call Charmoy Dental today at 973-584-0008 to set up your children’s appointment and let us help you make the first step in teaching healthy dental habits in your home.