Oral Health Care Tips For Children
At Humber Valley Dental, we offer gentle compassionate dental care for the entire family, including your little ones.
Children should first see the dentist by the time they are 6 months old. Starting your child’s dental visits early is important since it gets them comfortable seeing the dentist. Also, primary (baby) teeth should start to appear at this age, so the dentist can check for any issues or causes of concern.
Things to watch out for include:
Thumb sucking is a common habit for many babies and young children. However, continuous frequent thumb sucking can cause misalignment and bite problems, especially as the child gets older. If your child still frequently sucks their thumb by the age of four, it's recommended to seek your dentist for advice.
2. Baby bottle tooth decay
Baby bottle decay occurs in infants and toddlers, usually in their upper front teeth. It’s often caused by prolonged exposure to the sugars found in drinks they consume, such as breast milk, formula, and juice. Children who go to bed with a bottle of milk or juice are more at risk of developing decay since the sugars have all night to erode their teeth. Thus, the best way to prevent decay is by minimizing the amount of time and frequency that sugar can come in contact with their teeth. You can do this by not giving your child a bottle of milk or juice before sleeping and feeding them water instead between meals.
Teething occurs when the first baby teeth begin to erupt, usually when the child is around 3 to 4 month years old. This can cause the child a number of symptoms including swollen gums, drooling, irritability, and difficulty sleeping. To ease their pain, use a clean finger or wet gauze pad and gently massage your child’s gums.
4. Primary, Permanent, and Wisdom Teeth
Your child’s primary teeth will eventually be replaced with permanent teeth by the time they are 12 years old. Wisdom teeth may also emerge during their late teens and early twenties.
To ensure that your child’s mouth stays healthy, you should be cleaning their mouth before their primary teeth erupt. Using a clean damp washcloth, gently wipe all of their gum surfaces.
As their teeth start to erupt, you can buy a child-sized soft bristled toothbrush for them to brush with. Use only a pea size amount of toothpaste and teach your child to spit it out after brushing. For children under two years of age, they should avoid using fluoride toothpaste.
Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral found in water and many dental products. Fluoride helps to keep your teeth’s enamel strong and protect against fluoride. While getting enough fluoride is important, getting too much of it is not good either. That’s why it’s important to teach your child to always spit their toothpaste out after brushing.
It’s also important to teach your child how to brush properly. Using gentle pressure, be sure that they brush all of their teeth’s surfaces. Brushing should take at least two minutes to do properly.
During play time, be sure to monitor your children. However, accidents can still occur, such as oral injuries to the teeth, mouth, and jaws. Having your child wear a mouth guard can help to protect their mouth. If an injury does occur, and if it’s serious, be sure to contact your dentist.
Dental emergencies can include:
- Tooth pain
- Inflamed or swollen gums
- Cracked or chipped teeth
- A dislodged tooth
- Wisdom teeth pain
If your child is experiencing any of these symptoms, be sure to contact us right away for a checkup.
7. Dental Sealants
For young children who are prone to decay, dental sealants may be suitable for them. These are thin plastic coatings that are applied to the biting surfaces to protect them from decay.
At Humber Valley Dental, we offer comprehensive dental services for your entire family. We focus on preventative dentistry which includes routine cleaning, checkups, and a proper oral health routine so that your loved ones can have healthy smiles for life. If you have any questions or would like to set up an appointment, please contact Humber Valley Dental in Bolton at (905) 857-3398 today.