Dental Care For Infants & Children
Infants and children need some help when it comes to developing proper oral health habits. Parents need to play an essential part from the beginning
CHILDREN AND ORAL HEALTH
"Baby teeth appear between the ages of 6 months and 2½ years. These primary teeth are important. They help your child to chew food properly and develop healthy speech patterns, and they hold a place for the permanent teeth to follow. Cavities in baby teeth can lead to pain and infection and can negatively affect your child’s growth and development. To help prevent cavities, start good oral care routines early." - The Canadian Dental Hygienist Association
Parents need to play an essential part from the beginning, doing it for the little one in the first years.
Later in life, when children start brushing on their own, it is a parent's responsibility to make sure they do it correctly and doing it as often as they should until good habits develop.
New parents often ask, when is a good time to start brushing their baby's teeth. The answer is, as soon as possible. Make sure you start brushing your baby's gums before teeth erupt. It means you should be cleaning your baby's mouth before they have teeth.
STEPS TO BRUSHING INFANT'S TEETH
Brushing teeth and gums with infants
1. Make sure your baby lies in a comfortable position in front of you or on your lap
2. Align your baby so that you can see in the mouth.
3. You can use either a soft baby toothbrush or wrap your finger in a damp washcloth or a piece of gauze. You need to wipe or brush all parts of the new teeth and gums.
4. DO NOT use toothpaste until your child has teeth.
Although there may be some fussing when you begin, your child will soon get used to this daily routine.
BRUSHING WITH A TOOTHBRUSH
a) Make sure your toothbrush is at 45-degree angle to the teeth. Start where gums and teeth meet.
b) Do it in the gentle circles; DO NOT SCRUB. For the front teeth - use the "toe" (front) part of the brush. The key is to do it gently.
BRUSHING CHILDREN'S TEETH
Children under the age of three (3) should have their teeth brushed by an adult. Usually, we recommend that until your child has a manual ability to tie their shoelaces, you need to brush their teeth for them.
Children from three to six years of age should be supervised by their parents when brushing and flossing. Make brushing and flossing a family routine, brush your teeth together! Put on a Youtube video with a "brushing song" and play a game for two (2) minutes; use 30 seconds per quadrant: upper right, upper left, lower left, lower right: and you have completed the circle!
If you would like to learn more about children's oral health, how to floss and pick a kids toothbrush you can check out our blog.