Kid holding toothbrush

Healthy Dental Habits to Establish in Early Childhood

It is important that you take care of your child’s dental health from his earliest moments of life and help him retain those good habits to develop strong healthy teeth. Your child’s dental health starts even before he grows his first tooth. It is important that you take care of your child’s oral health from his earliest moments of life and help him retain those good habits.

Brushing Starts as Soon as the Teeth Come in

It is important to remind your child to brush his teeth every night before going to bed.  However, make sure that when your child is brushing his teeth that he doesn’t swallow any of the toothpaste. This usually happens when too much toothpaste is put on the brush. The result is too much fluoride in the body, which can cause white or brown spots to form on the teeth, called fluorosis.

Discourage “Chewing” and Finger Sucking

Another habit to break as early as possible is thumb or finger sucking. Thumb sucking can cause the teeth to misalign, creating a slew of issues from buck teeth to difficulties swallowing. This also goes for pacifiers, whose use should be discontinued by around age one.

From their fingernails to their number two pencils, children have a tendency to put everything in their mouths. This habit can introduce all sorts of harmful bacteria into their mouth and can lead to unintentional teeth grinding. Discourage your child from putting objects in their mouth.

Try to Start Routine Dentist Visits, Early

Make sure that your child visits the dentist regularly.  These visits will not only help keep his teeth strong but can also help you spot early signs of trouble. Taking your child to a dentist that specializes in pediatric dentistry can help the child feel more comfortable with going to the dentist.

Keep the Mouth Healthy During Breastfeeding

Bacteria can grow on a baby’s gums after breastfeeding or drinking from a bottle. Help prevent this bacteria by gently wiping the baby’s mouth with a soft washcloth. Not only will this help keep the mouth healthy, but it will also help the child become habituated to having their mouth clean. As soon as the first tooth comes in, start to transition from a washcloth to a soft toothbrush and water.

Don’t Leave Your Baby with Their Bottle

Avoid letting your baby go to bed with a bottle. The sugar from the bottle will stay on the teeth while he is sleeping which can eventually result in severe tooth decay known as bottle rot. This problem can also develop later on if the child continuously carries a sippy cup during the day or sleeps with it at night.


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