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Teaching Your Child Good Oral Hygiene Habits

Your Syracuse kids' dentists can help you help your child.

It's never too early to begin teaching your child good oral hygiene habits. Dr. Karen Lawitts, your Syracuse, NY kids' dentists, share a few tips that will make the daily hygiene routine more pleasant for you and your child.

Start the oral hygiene routine early

Starting an oral hygiene regimen early not only protects your child from tooth decay, but also makes brushing teeth a regular part of your child's schedule. Clean your baby's gums daily with a moist piece of gauze before any teeth appear. As soon as their first tooth erupts, brush it in the morning and evening. You'll only need a very small amount of toothpaste if your child only has a few teeth. In fact, you can probably begin brushing with a rice-sized dollop of non-fluoridated toothpaste. As more teeth appear, add a little more toothpaste to the brush, but don't use more than a pea-sized amount of paste.

Make brushing fun

Upping the fun quotient is always a good way to persuade your kids to take part in an activity that they'd rather skip. Drug and grocery stores sell plenty of kid-friendly brushes in bright colors, many of them adorned with popular cartoon characters. When children choose their brushes themselves, they may just be a little more likely to want to brush. Some power toothbrushes even play music while your child brushes, which can make the process more enjoyable. Don't have a musical brush? Turn on your child's favorite tunes instead.

Don't forget about flossing

Kids don't always enjoy flossing but it's an important part of a good oral hygiene routine. Young children often don't have the manual dexterity to handle flossing, which means you'll need to step in and do the job until they're old enough to master it.

Model good behavior

Most kids want to do the things they see their parents and older brothers and sisters do. Consider making toothbrushing a family event to encourage them to participate.

In addition to good oral hygiene habits, regular dental visits are very important during childhood. If it's time for your child's next dental visit, call Dr. Lawitts, your Syracuse, NY kids' dentists, at (315) 492-8138 to schedule an appointment.

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