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Your child’s oral health is just as important as his or her physical health. But how soon do you take your child to the dentist and how can parents take care of those important baby teeth.
Here, our dentists offer practical tips on how to promote proper dental health for children at home.
Your child’s first dental visit
So when should you take your child in for the first time?
The first actual visit should be at age three, when all the primary teeth are in the mouth and the child is at the earliest age where he or she will cooperate and let the dentist have a proper look.
Most dental associations however, recommend that when the first tooth erupts – which is age six to seven months – that they would need to be seen by a dentist. It’s not necessarily with them in the chair, it’s just so the dentist can take a look to see what’s going on and give parents information on what they can be doing at that point to take care of their kids’ teeth.
After the first tooth erupts, the dentists suggest using a wet washcloth and just wiping off the teeth. Once the molars come in — about age two to three — then a toothbrush can be using. The toothbrush can just be wet: It doesn’t necessarily have to have toothpaste on it.
Choosing the right tool
If your child wants to brush her own teeth, let her. Just be sure to get in there afterward to do it again yourself.
As for toothbrushes, there are tons of varying types and designs from manual to electric. Our clinic endorses whatever type it takes to get your child to brush longer and properly.
As far as toothpaste goes, our clinic recommends children use non-fluoridated toothpaste up until approximately age five or six.
When you know that your child can consistently spit out into the sink, then you’re okay to use a fluoridated toothpaste. You don’t want them to swallow it, it’s too much toothpaste they swallow every single day. There’s a real balance between what’s enough fluoride and what’s too much fluoride.
Flossing is very important for healthy teeth and tasty flavoured flosses can be suggested for those children who don’t like doing it. But please note that children with teeth that are spaced apart don’t need to floss until the teeth are tightly together.
Go for sugar free gum
Sugar-free gum is a great tool as well since kids usually don’t brush three times a day.
What gum does is it stimulates saliva. We recommend to our parents, if they can, to give gum to kids after breakfast, after lunch, after dinner – it stimulates the saliva and washes off the teeth.
It’s not a replacement for a toothbrush but it’s a good add-on tool. Cheese is also a great snack that doesn’t cause decay, but actually helps prevent it. Both are handy if, for example, the child is going to fall asleep in the car before you get home or some other reason prevents them from getting a chance to brush.
Contact Family Care Dental Clinic for your consultation today!
Located in the heart of North Vancouver, BC, Family Care Dental Clinic is a group of passionate dentists and dental experts who are committed to providing patients with exceptional dental care in a modern and relaxing environment. We at Family Care Dental Clinic offer our clients a wide range of comprehensive dental services for the whole family.
Call (604) 987-3545 or write us at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule an appointment with a member of our excellent team!