In Babies and Toddlers, Dental Hygiene, Preventative Care

How soon is too soon to teach your children about oral hygiene? While you’ll want to help and supervise for quite a while, it’s never too soon to start taking care of your baby’s teeth. Even before his teeth begin to erupt, you should be cleaning his gums after each feeding. Use a piece of sterile gauze and gently wipe the gum surfaces.

As your baby begins to walk and talk, you can begin using an actual toddler-sized toothbrush and toothpaste. You can also look for a kid-friendly, alcohol-free dental rinse. Offer him a choice between two brushes in the store so he feels like he’s a part of the process, and make a game out of the actual brushing. You can also brush your own teeth while he’s brushing his which will further instill the good oral hygiene habits you want to encourage.

Make sure to praise your child often for brushing and he’ll be much more likely to pick up his toothbrush the next time you ask. Be careful with your reward system, however, as edible treats should never be part of the toothbrushing routine.

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