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Father and baby brushing teeth

While adults understand they have to overcome their fears associated with trips to the dentist to allow them to achieve proper dental health, children aren’t quite at that stage. All our dental clinics create a friendly atmosphere for visiting children. They avoid terms that children might find frightening (drill, needle and injection come to mind) to provide youngsters fear-free experiences and help develop positive responses to dental care that will serve them well as adults.

Our Goals

  • Educate your child using models, computer technology and child-friendly terminology, and emphasize the importance of keeping teeth healthy; they advise you on disease prevention, trauma prevention, good eating habits and other aspects of your child’s home hygiene routine.
  • Anticipate your child’s dental issues and intervene before they worsen; early treatment preserves a child’s self-esteem and fosters a more positive self-image.
  • Help parents and children establish sound eating and oral care habits to reduce chances of tooth decay; pediatric dentists provide check-ups and cleanings, apply dental sealants and fluoride and provide demonstrations of brushing and flossing.

If you have questions or concerns about your dental visit, please contact our office.

Your Child’s First Visit to the Dentist

The Canadian Dental Association recommends you have your child’s teeth assessed around their first birthday, about six months after the first tooth appears. Normally, a dental exam every six months will allow your child’s dentist to catch problems early.

Dental exams for your child also:

  • Determine if the cleaning you do at home is working.
  • Teach your child that visiting the dentist helps prevent problems.

Nutrition and Your Child’s Teeth

If it comes to choice between “sugar and spice” take the spice. Sugar is the natural enemy of your child’s teeth. It mixes with bacteria to form an acid that attacks the tooth enamel to cause cavities. All sugars, refined and natural, do this, so even healthy foods such as milk must be monitored. Some tips:

  • Don’t put your child to bed with a bottle of milk, instead use water in the bottle.
  • Restrict fruit juice; water is the best drink between meals.
  • Teething biscuits break down to form sugars.
  • Read the labels; if sugar is listed first, it is the greatest single ingredient.
  • Rinse with water after all meals and snacks.

This doesn’t mean never giving your child healthy foods that include sugar. It means you must clean your child’s teeth to stop sugars from forming and creating acid.

Along with meals, snacks require close monitoring. Our tips:

  • Avoid sugar-rich foods that stay in the mouth for a long time (gum and hard candy) and soft, sticky sweets that get stuck in the mouth (toffee, raisins, rolled-up fruit snacks or fruit leather).
  • Place nutritious snacks (carrot sticks & cheese cubes) on the bottom shelf in the fridge; place small snacks (small boxes of cereal, fruit, vegetables, nuts or seeds) in a low cupboard.
  • Eliminate sweets.
  • Cheddar cheese fights tooth decay and is a nutritious snack.

Baby Pacifiers and Thumb-Sucking

Babies naturally suck, for nutrition and to help them relax. At two or three years old, your child is outgrowing the need to suck. However, if your child still likes to suck, a soother is better than a thumb, because you have control over how your little one uses a soother. Refrain from using sweeteners on the soother; they can cause cavities. It’s best to eliminate the practice before permanent teeth arrive around age five.

If you have questions or if you would like to talk to one of our patient-care co-ordinators, or book an appointment, please call our toll free line at 1-800-552-8053 or click here to find a location closest to you.