Children's Dental Health
*Regular checkups and preventative care such as cleanings, sealants and fluoride insure your child the start to a healthy smile. You should schedule your child’s first dental visit within 6 months after the first tooth erupts, or no later than the child’s first birthday. After the child’s first visit most dentists will recommend re-care exams and cleanings every six months.
Cleaning Your Smile at Home:
*Making sure you brush twice a day (after breakfast and before bedtime) and flossing once a day ensure you’re doing your part to maintain healthy teeth and gums. For children this routine can vary depending on their age:
0-2 years old: Parents should brush the gums and teeth with water 1-2 times a day
2-8 years old: Parents should still help with brushing twice a day using a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste. Make sure the child spits out the toothpaste and doesn’t swallow too much. A parent should also begin to help flossing the teeth once a day.
8-11 years old: Children should be able to brush and floss on their own, but it is wise to still have a parent supervise or check that the child was thorough in their effort!
Smile Healthy Diet:
What our children eat and how often they eat can affect the health of their teeth. Plaque is constantly forming on the teeth. When children eat food or drink beverages high in sugar the bacteria in plaque produce acids which can etch tooth enamel making it prone to develop a cavity. The more frequently a child eats or snacks, the more acid attacks the teeth are exposed to.
*Offer nutritious snacks
*Limit pop, juice and energy drinks
*Encourage frequent water consumption to ‘wash’ the plaque off the teeth throughout the day
Sports (especially contact sports such as hockey, basketball, football, wrestling, martial arts sparing, or boxing) provide an opportunity for dental injuries. The best way to protect teeth from injury is to wear a mouthguard.
- Mouthguards can be purchased from a sports store and are softened in warm water and then molded to the child’s teeth. This type of mouthguard is recommended when a child still has a lot of baby teeth and the jaw is growing rapidly as they are inexpensive.
- Once a child has all of their permanent teeth a custom mouthguard made by your dentist is ideal.