Starting good oral health habits at an early age will help keep your child smiling for years to come. It’s important to educate your children on proper brushing and flossing techniques, and our team is here to help.
At our Winnipeg dental office, we focus on creating an environment of education, without instilling fear or anxiety – we want your kids to feel good about not only caring for their teeth but also their dental office experiences.
Every mouth is different, but the first tooth sighting usually happens around 6-8 months old and is typically the two bottom front teeth. The 4 upper front teeth are usually next to follow, with the rest of the teeth appearing periodically in pairs until your child is around 2.5 years old. At that age, you can expect to see 20 baby teeth. Baby teeth play an important role because they’re placeholders for permanent teeth and help with:
- Ability to properly chew food
- Clarity of speech
- Confidence / appearance
As your child grows, those baby teeth will be replaced by permanent teeth (this usually happens at 5 or 6 years of age). It is totally normal for some teeth to be a few months early or late – everyone is different!
The First Dental Visit
It’s recommended that your child’s first visit take place within six months of the eruption of the first tooth or by one year of age. The first appointment involves a gentle, thorough examination of your child’s teeth and gums. We’ll also chat about any adverse habits (like thumb sucking), and provide you with tips on how to keep your child’s teeth and gums looking and feeling healthy.
In some instances, we may require x-rays so we can take a look at any decay between the teeth and ensure that teeth are coming in the way that they should. It’s also a way for us to keep an eye out for any risk of crooked or crowded teeth.
In cases where there may be a higher risk of childhood tooth decay, we may also want to discuss fluoride treatment for your child.
These early-life visits are an important way for us to ensure any small problems can be caught early. Preventative care is important in creating a healthy smile and healthy teeth.
Preventing Cavities in Kids
One of the most common concerns with kids is cavities because their teeth are thinner and softer than adult teeth. Every time we eat, the bacteria digests the sugars, causing an acid reaction inside the mouth that lasts about 20 minutes. This breeds an environment that can destroy the tooth structure and lead to cavities. These are typically a result of a diet high in sugary foods and a lack of proper brushing. Here are some tips to help keep cavities at bay:
- Proper oral habits (encouraging brushing, flossing & rinsing).
- Pick nutritious snacks like cheese sticks, yogurt, fresh veggies and fruit, and nuts like almonds or cashews.
- Keep an eye on the types of drinks your child consumes. Commercial fruit juices, soda, sports drinks, and lemonade are full of sugar. Water, milk (cow or nut-based), unsweetened 100% fruit juices are great options.
- Stay clear of very sticky foods, which tend to stay on the teeth longer than other foods and increase the chance of tooth decay).
- Make sure they’re getting enough fluoride (that’s where we can help!).
- Regular dental cleanings
Dental health is important at every age. At our Winnipeg dental office, we strive to provide a comfortable environment and excellent care for people of all ages. Our friendly staff will work closely with you to develop a treatment plan for your child that is tailored to their needs. Start your child off with the right dental habits – give us a call today or book a free consultation with our friendly team. We also recommend downloading a completely free copy of our children’s guide to oral health.
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