Dental Care for Infants and Toddlers

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Dental care for infants and toddlers is crucial to setting up a lifetime of good oral health. While most parents are used to taking older children to the dentist, toddlers and infants are often overlooked. The Canadian Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends a visit to the dentist by the time first tooth erupts or at least by the first birthday. The recommendation exists so we, the children’s dentist, can do an examination of your child’s teeth and oral tissues and discuss all aspects of the mouth such as nutrition, teething milestones, injury and caries prevention. Lets go over some frequently asked questions

Why Are Baby Teeth Important?

Baby teeth are very important precursors to adult teeth and we know adult teeth are very important to maintain good overall health!

Prevention of cavities is key and that is why an early dental visit is crucial. During the first dental visit, we will clean the child’s teeth and discuss home care with you along with several other key factors. Here are some great pointers to help clean your child’s teeth at home:

For infants with no teeth or only a few teeth, you should ideally clean your child’s mouth after feeding or atleast once before bed using either a clean gauze pad or soft cloth-this should become a regular habit. For toddlers with more teeth, you can use an age appropriate toothbrush with soft bristles( we prefer extra soft as the little ones love to chew on the brush!)

Now, how to clean the teeth:

  1. Sit on the couch or bed with your child’s head in your lap so you can easily see your child’s teeth and have access to all of them.
  2. For baby, place a clean gauze pad or soft cloth over your finger. Regardless of what you use, make sure it is damp but not soaking wet. Gently wipe your child’s teeth and gums.For toddlers, us a small, soft toothbrush. Brush all surfaces of the teeth, including the areas near the gums.
  3. For children under three years of age, a “smear” amount of Fluoride toothpaste or the size of a grain of rice can be used.
  4. Flossing-use the stick flossers if your child’s teeth are “tight” or there is no spacing
  5. Children are okay to brush without supervision if they are able to tie their own shoe laces, which is usually around eight years of age(that means they have the appropriate hand dexterity). Until then, you should supervise and help with brushing and flossing. If a child does develop cavities, it is important to get them assessed by us and have them treated as soon as possible. Cavities that are left untreated in baby teeth can lead to several issues such as:
    • Pain and discomfort.
    • Infections that can impact the child’s overall health.
    • Increased need for dental care.
    • Discoloration of permanent teeth
    • Loss of space needed for permanent teeth to come in.

Other important info:

  • Avoid sweetened drinks like juice or chocolate milk
  • Soothers! We love them as infants but want you to wean your child by age three so there are no irreversible changes to the teeth.

Serving the Pickering area and Durham region, HiFive Dental is your go-to pediatric dental office, for all your child’s dental needs. We are focused on giving your child the best and most comfortable dental visit possible!

BreezeMaxWebDental Care for Infants and Toddlers

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