Developing healthy dental habits early is critical to long term teeth health. By the time your child is 3 years old they will likely have their full set of 20 baby teeth. Start teaching your kids the importance of brushing and cleaning those teeth when they are toddlers and the habits will be ingrained in them by the time they are teens with a full set of adult teeth.
When babies are newborns keep the mouth and gums clean by wiping them with a moist gauze or washcloth. Around the 6 month mark you should start seeing the front teeth breaking through, although it could take up to a year before some kids get their first tooth.
As the child grows, parents can instill in them proper dental habits by brushing their teeth for them. Use a small amount of fluoride toothpaste – no bigger than a smear or the size of a grain of rice. Brush twice a day.
Once the child is able to brush their own teeth make sure they continue the habit of brushing at least twice a day using a child size toothbrush and a dollop of toothpaste no bigger than a pea. It doesn’t take much toothpaste to be effective, especially when their mouths are so small.
Learning a habit, both good and bad ones, takes time and repetition. Trying to break a bad habit once it’s formed can be more difficult than starting a good habit, so it’s best to start young and get that routine ingrained in them before bad habits (and decay) set in.