At what age should my child have their first dental visit?

The earlier, the better! It is recommended that the first dental visit starts at the age of 1 year or when the first teeth become visible. This not only helps to provide your child with a “dental home” but will also help new parents gather all the information they need to provide and encourage great oral health habits.

When should I start brushing my baby’s teeth?

The sooner the better! Starting at birth, using a soft infant toothbrush or damp cloth, clean your child’s gums and as soon as the teeth begin to erupt, start brushing twice a day, morning and night.

How often should I be brushing my child’s teeth?

It is important to brush twice a day! Once after breakfast, and again before bed at night. Night time brushing is the most important time because we don’t produce as much saliva while we are sleeping. Saliva production plays an important role in keeping our mouths clean and healthy

Why is brushing before bed the most important time to brush?

While a child sleeps, any unswallowed liquid in the mouth feeds bacteria that produce acids and attack the teeth. Protect your child from severe tooth decay by brushing their teeth before putting them to bed and by also not giving them anything but water after the brushing. If they do have something to eat or drink again, remember to brush again!

How often should they see a dentist?

Children should see their dentist twice a year. Routine assessments help to reinforce the feeling of the “dental home”, and this also allows the dentist to monitor feeding and oral hygiene habits. It is important to keep up with preventative methods to aid in good oral health.

Is it ok for my child to use a pacifier?

Sucking is perfectly normal for babies and is very soothing for them; many stop by age 2. Prolonged sucking, however, can create crooked teeth or bite problems. If the habit continues beyond age 3, professional advice is recommended.

And although thumb-sucking and pacifier sucking essentially have the same effects, a pacifier is preferred over the thumb/finger because this habit is a lot easier to control. You can control when and where a pacifier is used. It is a lot more difficult to control a finger or thumb going into the mouth.

Is it ok to use fluoridated toothpaste?

Once your child reaches the ages between 2 and 3 years, it is ok to begin using a very small “pea-size” amount. If any more is used, they can swallow it and this could lead to fluorosis of the developing permanent teeth, which causes discolouration and white spots.

When should we start flossing?

Flossing is important to begin once the teeth begin to touch each other and can trap and harbour food and bacteria. The most important areas to floss for children is between their back molars. Try using floss sticks, they are much easier to use.

Why are baby teeth so important?

Baby teeth may be small and temporary, but they’re extremely important for your child’s oral health and development. They are necessary for your child to chew and are necessary for important speech production and development. Baby teeth also serve an important purpose by saving space for the future adult teeth, which promotes proper alignment of the adult teeth and promotes jaw development.

Cavities left untreated can lead to premature loss of these important baby teeth.

When do kids start to lose their teeth?

On average, children begin to lose their first teeth at around the age of 6 years, beginning with the 2 lower front teeth. The time and sequence may vary with each child. It is also common that around this time, the first permanent molars begin to erupt (1 in each corner at the very back) without replacing any baby teeth, therefore it is important that while brushing, the toothbrush gets further back to ensure that these teeth are getting proper care.

There are adult teeth growing behind the baby teeth. Is this normal?

It is common that the lower front permanent teeth will grow in behind the baby tooth before it has fallen out, appearing like “shark teeth”. Keep wiggling at the baby tooth and it is likely that it will fall out on its own. Once the baby tooth has fallen out, depending on the space that is available, the tongue will naturally begin to push that permanent tooth forward into alignment with the rest of the teeth. Don’t worry right away, give it some time!

The adult teeth growing in look really yellow. Is this normal?

Baby teeth are naturally whiter in appearance than the permanent teeth, and this can appear more dramatic when compared next to one another due to the visible contrast. Discolouration however, can be a cause of other factors and to be sure, it is important to visit your dentist.

Can I whiten my child’s teeth?

It is advised that whitening products are not used until all the permanent teeth have erupted. The reason for this is, if you begin whitening permanent teeth without the others present, by the time all the permanent teeth have erupted, some will have been exposed to whitening and others not, with varying times. Thus, all the teeth will not match in colour.