Giving your child’s teeth the best start …
The First Examination
Your child’s first examination should be six months after the eruption of their first tooth. During the examination the parent and the Dentist sit knee to knee and the child will lie down on a pillow facing the parent.
The parent helps the Dentist to keep the child stable while they examine the mouth and the new teeth.
Dental health starts from day one. Gently wiping with a soft cloth on the gums of an infant helps to remove build up that can accumulate. When baby teeth erupt they can decay quickly if cleansing is not done. Milks (even if a child is breastfeeding) all have sugars in them that can attribute to decay.
How you brush your child’s teeth makes a big difference. A soft brush, water and “fluoridated” toothpaste should be used on all the teeth twice daily with night time being the most important time to brush. Make sure you use only a small pea size of toothpaste on their brush. There will be less chance of toothpaste being swallowed.
The Canadian Dental Association recommends that your child have their first visit 6 months after their first tooth appears. This is an important step in assessing their dental health and a risk assessment for cavities and diet counseling should be done as well.
Healthy Food For Healthy Teeth
After the examination is completed, the Dentist will review information to help keep your child’s teeth healthy and decay free. Some topics that may be discussed are eating habits, cleansing the teeth, medications and their impact on dental health and even fluoride exposure.
There are several important points that may reduce your child’s risks for getting a cavity. One such point is diet. We are aware that foods, milk and juice have sugars in them. When teeth are continually exposed to these sugars they are at extreme risk of getting cavities. Exposure should be at mealtimes and water should be the drink to refresh them between meals.
Any medications should always be rinsed out of the mouth as they contain sugars as well. Continuous snacking with highly fermentable carbohydrates should be avoided.
Children that are put to bed with any kind of a bottle that is filled with anything other than water are put at a very high risk of cavities because of the reasons stated above.
Children In Need of Treatment (CINOT) - Healthy Smiles Ontario
Good oral health is important to kids’ overall health. Yet, for some, regular dental care may not be affordable. Healthy Smiles Ontario is a new program for kids 17 and under who do not have access to any form of dental coverage. If eligible, your kids will get regular dental services at no cost to you.
To find out more about Healthy Smiles Ontario and to see if you qualify, visit www.health.gov.on.ca
Or call the Service Ontario INFOline:
TTY toll-free: 1-800-387-5559
416-327-4282 (Toronto only)