Glenn J. Marie, DDS, is the owner of Dentistry for Children, a Staten Island, New York, clinic that has provided dentistry services to children with special needs for more than 25 years. In addition to caring for the teeth of society’s youngest members, Glenn J. Marie, DDS, is dedicated to informing parents about safe practices in infant and child oral health.
As a parent, it is important to keep an eye on young children to ensure their mouths remain healthy. Oral health in children relies on not only the activities they should practice regularly, but also the activities they should not:
– Children must be taught that while sharing in general is a good skill, they cannot share items that will or have been placed in the mouth. Specifically, toddlers should learn to avoid using utensils and cups that have been used by another child. They also should be dissuaded from placing things that have fallen on the ground into their mouths.
– When a child is old enough to begin brushing their own teeth (around age 3), the importance of this regular activity should already have been impressed upon them for a number of years. Parents can help their child prepare for this new task by showing them how to properly angle the brush, encouraging them to be gentle when brushing, and reminding them to brush multiple times a day.
–From a very young age, children can begin learning the effect of diet on oral hygiene. High-sugar drinks and snacks can decay teeth, so young children should be taught to eat these foods only in moderation, and to brush well (or ask to have their teeth brushed) after consuming such items.