Good Oral Health is Important at Any Age, Say Dentists Taking New Patients
At about six months old, your baby’s first teeth will usually appear. The bottom central incisors—the very front teeth of the bottom row—will typically appear first, followed by their counterparts on top row. By 33 months old, most children will have all of their primary teeth, also called baby teeth or milk teeth. These teeth may not last for very long, but taking care of them is incredibly important. Your local Kanata dental clinic recommends that you begin basic practices like brushing your child’s teeth as soon as the first ones appear. This is because healthy primary teeth are an essential to lifelong dental health, and will impact everything from the condition of your child’s gums to the growth of their permanent, or adult, teeth.
It is also strongly recommended that by your child’s first birthday, you take them for their first dental exam. If you don’t have a family dentist, you can easily find a dentist taking new patients in your area.
Early Dental Care
It’s never too early to start taking care of your child’s oral health. Even before teeth start to appear, your child could greatly benefit from having their gums cleaned. With a soft, damp washcloth or gauze, gently clean your baby’s gums after feedings to prevent early buildup of bacteria and plaque.
Once a tooth appears, you may begin brushing twice a day. Kanata dental clinics recommend you use a brush with a small head and soft bristles to avoid discomfort, as teething causes your child’s gums to be incredibly sensitive. By introducing your child to the routine early, they will be more accustomed to it as they grow older, and therefore they will be more likely to develop a healthy oral care habit for themselves. Clean your child’s teeth at least twice a day, usually once after their first meal or feeding, and again before bedtime.
Begin with a minimal amount of toothpaste, comparable to a grain of rice, and slowly graduate to higher amounts from there. If you notice brown spots or pits in the teeth, these may be signs of early tooth decay, and you should bring your child to a Kanata dental office or a dentist taking new patients.
Things to Avoid
Sugary diets should always be kept to minimum, for people of any age. This is especially important for infants. To help keep their teeth healthy, only feed them breastmilk, formula, or water early on. Fruit juice, soda, and cow’s milk are full of sugars that attract acid-producing bacteria to the teeth.
While occasional sugary snacks are not a major concern, try to encourage healthy eating habits at a young age to help foster good lifelong oral health.