Oral Health of the Baby
When is it suggested to see the dentist for the first time?
The Canadian Dental Association recommends visiting the dentist or pediatric dentist at 12 months of age. This first visit is intended to allow your dentist to examine your child before a dental problem occurs. It is a meeting to familiarize with the dental environment. During this appointment, we will advise you on how to brush your child’s teeth, tell you when to start using fluoride toothpaste and discuss about good eating habits. Doing a review every six months allows us to detect minor problems earlier and fix them quickly.
Young children can’t clean their teeth alone. Parents must do it for them when they are very young and do it with them when they get older. It is recommended to clean the gums without toothpaste before the appearance of the first tooth. Then, as soon as it erupts, it is important to clean the tooth and the gums. This procedure allows your child to develop good habits at a young age and avoid cavities.
A toothbrush is essential even for a small mouth. The bristles should preferably be soft with rounded ends. You will need to buy a new brush every 3 or 4 months. Children do not spare their toothbrushes. If the hair is twisted or worn, the brush cleans badly and could damage the gums
Make sure the toothpaste is fluoridated (this is the case when the Canadian Dental Association symbol is on the box or tube). Fluoride, in small amounts, is a mineral that makes teeth more resistant to decay. A little toothpaste is enough, the size of a grain of rice before the age of 24 months and the size of a pea at the age of 3 to 5 years. Toothpaste can be swallowed in small amounts, but be sure to look for ingestion in order to avoid dental fluorosis. Always keep the toothpaste out of reach of children to limit the risk of major poisoning.
Thumb or Finger Sucking
A child who sucks his thumb or finger after the age of 3 may be more likely to develop dental and skeletal malpositions that may cause some chewing and speech problems. It is important to consult with us so that we can give you appropriate advice.
A few things at home
– Many studies have shown that breastfed babies have better jaw development.
– Never put your baby in bed with a bottle, cup of milk or liquid other than water.
– Highlight and encourage the habit of cleaning your mouth and teeth.
– Limit juice and other sugary drinks to no more than 4 ounces (125 ml) a day. Give water between meals.
– In other words, the more the teeth are in contact with sugars, the more they deteriorate.
– Avoid giving teething cookies. They may contain modified sugars.