Why Dental Care for Kids Is So Important
Proper dental care for kids is important so to ensure good oral health in children be sure to brush your child’s teeth at least twice a day from the age of two. Teaching your child to brush (and floss) regularly will also help them develop healthy life-long oral care habits.
Keswick Kids Dental specializes in pediatric dentistry in the Keswick / Georgina area of Ontario. In our first blog post, we offer an overview of proper dental care for kids of all ages.
Baby Teeth Dental Care
Your child is born with its 20 baby teeth (Primary Teeth) in place just below the gumline. See our blog post with a Baby Teeth Chart. The child will start teething between 6 and 12 months old and have all their baby teeth by the time they are 3 years old. However, their baby teeth will do more than just help your child to chew and talk.
Baby teeth also act like placeholders for their permanent adult teeth, which start to appear between the ages of 5 and 7. This is why starting dental care for kids at a very early age is so important. We recommend cleaning your child’s teeth at least twice a day.
You should schedule your child’s first dental visit by the time they are 12 months old so that their baby teeth can be properly assessed by the children’s dentist.
Dental Care for Kids – By Age
Newborn 1 – 5 Months – To clean your young child’s mouth daily, simply dampen your finger or washcloth with warm water (no toothpaste) and gently clean the gums following each feeding.
Toddler 6 – 24 Months – Your child will begin to show teeth at around 6 months old. You can continue to clean your child’s mouth as outlined for newborns above or use a very soft baby toothbrush. At 18 months old, to help prevent plaque and tooth decay, you should brush for 2 minutes twice a day using a child sized toothbrush with just a small amount of baby toothpaste.
Toddler 2 – 5 Years – Dental care for kids this age starts with brushing. Teach your child to brush for at least 2 minutes twice a day. Supervised brushing in the morning, before bedtime, and after meals is recommended. To set a good example, brush your teeth at the same time so they can see, imitate, and learn from you.
6 Years & Older – Teach your children how to floss as well as how to brush their teeth properly. By developing a daily routine of flossing and brushing together (as a family) your child will learn life-long responsible dental care habits.
Promote Healthy Food & Snacks
As children’s dentists, we recommend that you set an example for your kids when it comes to nutrition and your family’s eating and drinking habits. Along with developing good oral hygiene habits, eating healthy foods and snacks is also essential in proper dental care for kids.
Young children are always watching, learning, and imitating. Minimize the amount of sugary snack foods and drinks you purchase. Instead, start early and get your children used to snacking on healthy fruits, vegetables, and whole grain foods.
Does Sugar Cause Cavities?
Contrary to popular belief, on its own, sugar does not cause cavities. What sugar does do is lower the pH level in your mouth and attract bad cavity-causing bacteria. The bad bacteria will eat the sugar and create plaque and acids that destroy the minerals in your tooth enamel. This can eventually lead to cavities. Brushing with a fluoride toothpaste helps to wash away plaque, reduce mouth acids, and replace the lost minerals, thereby strengthening your tooth enamel.
Don’t Let Poor Dental Hygiene Become a Lifelong Habit
It’s unavoidable. Young children and teens love eating sweets and drinking sugary liquids in between meals. Proper dental care for kids also means teaching them good oral hygiene habits that they’ll keep for life such as:
- Rinsing their mouth with water after eating sweets or drinking sugary liquids
- Flossing daily
- Learning to brush their teeth properly
- Brushing their teeth with fluoride toothpaste for at least 2 minutes, twice a day
For more information, see this Canadian Dental Association web page on Dental Care for Children.
Children’s Teeth Removal
Nobody wants to have their teeth removed but sometimes this is necessary if the teeth are decayed beyond repair. A pulled tooth may cause the surrounding teeth to move and affect how their adult teeth will be aligned once they come in. Your child may also need to see an orthodontist for braces or other treatment to correct the irregularities that their missing teeth may have caused.
Children’s cavities can also be treated with silver (amalgam) or white fillings and silver or white crowns in cases with more severe decay. Our Pediatric Dental Specialists will walk you through each potential option in plain language.
About Keswick Kids Dental
Here at Keswick Kids Dental Clinic, we take dental care for kids very seriously. Prevention is the best way to take care of your child’s teeth, gums, and oral health. Our pediatric dentists are here not only to take care of your children’s teeth but to also educate and ensure the ongoing oral health of our young patients.
We also offer emergency dental services.