Baby’s dental health
When should you visit the dentist for the first time?
Dr Beaudoin also offers dental services for the tiny ones. An early patient care encourages the good relationship between the practitioner and the child, thus avoiding the famous “dentist scare”. The Canadian Dental Association recommends visiting the dentist or the pedodontist as soon as the child has reached a year old. The purpose of this first visit is mainly to allow your dentist to examine your child before any dental problems occur. It also permits the child to familiarize himself with the dental environment. During this appointment, your dentist will advise you on the proper brushing of your child’s teeth, when to use fluoride toothpaste and also good eating habits. In most cases, a dental exam every six months allows the dentist to detect small problems early and remedy them quickly.
Some tips for home
- Privilege breastfeeding, as much as possible. Many studies have demonstrated that breastfed babies have a better jaw and lip development.
- Never allow your baby to go to bed with a bottle or a beaker of milk or other liquid that isn’t water.
- Avoid leaving your child stroll with a bottle or goblet.
- Use a small wet facecloth to wipe your baby’s gums at the end of each feeding.
- Reinforce the good habits of cleaning one’s mouth and teeth.
- Wean your child from the bottle and introduce him or her to drink from a cup around the age of one.
- Limit the drinking of juice and other sweet beverages to a maximum of 125 ml (4 oz) per day. Give water in between meals.
- Adopt healthy eating habits. Damages caused by sugar are proportionate to the quantity of sugar consumed and the period of time it was present in the mouth. In other terms, the more the teeth are in contact with sugar, the more they are damaged.
- Never dip the pacifier in a sweet substance. Make sure the pacifier qualifies in the orthodontic type and that it is well adapted for his or her size.
- Avoid teething biscuits. They often contain transformed sugar.
Young children can’t brush their teeth themselves. Parents have to do it for them when they are toddlers and with them when they are a bit older. It is recommended to clean the child’s gums without toothpaste before the first tooth’s eruption. Afterwards, once the first tooth has erupted, it is highly important to keep cleaning the gums as well as the tooth. This allows the child to develop good habits very young and avoid cavities.
For a small mouth, you need a small brush. Preferably, the bristles should be soft and have rounded tips. You will have to buy a new one every 3 to 4 months.
Kids don’t take care of their brushes. If the bristles are bent or twisted, the brush doesn’t clean as properly and could damage the gums.
Make sure the toothpaste you use contains fluoride. You will know if the Canadian Dental Association symbol appears on the tube or the box. Fluoride, in very small amount, is a mineral that makes the teeth more resistant to cavities. Only a small quantity suffices, such as the size of a grain of rice for toddlers 24 months and younger and the size of a small pea for children 3 to 5 years old. Toothpaste can be swallowed in tiny amounts without being dangerous. It actually helps in the formation of the adult teeth not yet grown under the gums. However, limit ingestion to avoid dental fluorosis. Always keep toothpaste out of reach of children to avoid major ingestion that can cause serious and dangerous poisoning.
Sucking of the thumb or finger
A child that sucks his thumb or his finger after the age of 3 can be more susceptible to develop teeth and skeletal malpositioning that can cause various problems to eat and talk. It is important to consult your dentist regarding this subject so he or she can give you the proper advice.