Parents usually provide oral hygiene care until their child is old enough to take responsibility for their daily dental health routine of brushing and flossing. According to Dr. David Musarra of Hoboken, NJ a proper routine of preventive pediatric dental home care is important from the day your child is born.
- Clean your infant’s gums with a clean, damp cloth after each feeding.
- As soon as the first teeth come in, begin brushing them with a small, soft-bristled toothbrush and water. If you are considering using toothpaste before your child’s second birthday, ask your dentist first.
- To avoid baby bottle tooth decay and teeth misalignment due to sucking, try to wean your child off of the breast and bottle by one year of age, and monitor excessive sucking of pacifiers, fingers and thumbs. Never give your child a bottle of milk, juice or sweetened liquid as a pacifier at naptime or bedtime.
- Help a young child brush at night, the most important time to brush, due to lower salivary flow and higher susceptibility to cavities. Perhaps let the child brush their teeth first to build self-confidence, then the parent can follow up to ensure that all plaque is removed. Usually by age 5 or so, the child can learn to brush his or her own teeth with proper parental instruction.
- The best way to teach a child how to brush is to lead by good example. Allowing your child to watch you brush your teeth teaches the importance of good oral hygiene.
In addition, preventative routine dental checkups ensure your child has healthy teeth and gums. Don’t wait. Schedule your child’s next pediatric dental visit with Dr. David Musarra at (201) 795-2111 or visit our website.
Dr. David Musarra also proudly serves Weehawken, Jersey City, Union City, North Bergen, Newark, and surrounding areas.