Did you know that how you care for your teeth when you are young will affect your dental health for the rest of your life?
Good habits start early in life and it is ideal to get your child in the habit of visiting the dentist from a young age. We make sure each visit is fun and enjoyable as well as a learning process so our younger patients know how to care for their teeth properly. During your child’s visit, we take a close look at the emergence of new teeth and their position. This is so our dentists can find and address any irregularities before they become a problem when they get older. First impressions are crucial with children and our experienced staff encourage and reassure children with a soft and gentle approach. Appointments with our junior patients are tailored according to their age and personality.
Healthy Baby Teeth
Healthy teeth are important to your baby’s overall health.
Teeth help your baby chew food and form words and sounds when speaking. They also affect the way your baby’s jaw grows and hold space for adult teeth. Generally, teeth start appearing between 4 and 7 months of age, but every baby is different. When your baby starts teething, you may notice that he or she will start to drool more or may want to chew on things. The first teeth to come in are usually the 2 bottom front teeth.
Start cleaning your baby’s teeth twice a day as soon as the first tooth appears. Until your child is 1 year of age use a soft baby toothbrush or you can use a wet washcloth or gauze to clean your baby’s teeth and gums. If using a washcloth or gauze it is still a good idea to give your baby a toothbrush to hold, play with and chew while cleaning their teeth to get them used to the idea. Start using a small dab of toothpaste when your baby is between 12 and 18 months of age.
Babies and young children can have problems with dental decay when parents do not practice good feeding and cleaning habits. Putting a baby to sleep with a bottle in his or her mouth may be convenient in the short term but it can also harm the baby’s teeth. When the sugars from milk or juice remain on the baby’s teeth for hours, the acid that is produced by bacteria may eat away at the enamel and cause decay. It is best to help babies and young children set specific times for drinking milk or juice throughout the day and the rest of the time drinking plain water. Sucking on a bottle containing sweet milk or fruit drinks throughout the day can be equally as damaging.
The same applies to eating sugary, sticky or acidic foods. The sugar and acid, if allowed to stay on for periods of time can cause acid that can eat away at the teeth and lead to decay. A healthy diet full of fresh fruit and vegetables and other quality foods together with a good cleaning technique is the best defense against dental decay in both children and adults alike.
Children will tend to imitate their parent’s behaviours. If good nutrition, oral hygiene and dental care are important to you, they will become important to your child. We encourage you to bring your child with you as early as possible so they get used to the idea of being at the dentist. It is also advisable to actively supervise your child’s cleaning until they are around age 8-10 years old.