Children's Corner

Proper tooth brushing and good nutritional habits are important to form early in a child’s life.

It is important to limit the consumption of foods and beverages high in sugar content - not only in the amount, but also in the number of times you eat and drink them during the day. Snacking should be kept to a minimum and confined to foods and drinks that don’t promote tooth decay. Examples of such items are nuts, popcorn, raw fruits and vegetables, and sugar free drinks.

Every time you eat, bacteria in your mouth, along with the food, produce an acid for at least 20 MINUTES! It’s this acid that causes tooth decay.

Here are some common questions and answers about your child's teeth and their first visit to the dentist.

At what age should my child have his/her first dental visit?

"First visit by first birthday" is the general rule. To prevent dental problems, your child should see a dentist when the first tooth appears, usually between 6 and 12 months of age, certainly no later than his/her first birthday.

When do the first teeth start to appear?

At about 6 months, the two lower front teeth (central incisors) will begin to appear, followed shortly by the two upper central incisors. The remainder of the baby teeth appear during the next 18 to 24 months but not necessarily in an orderly sequence from front to back. At 2 to 3 years, all of these 20 primary teeth should be present.

How should I clean my baby's teeth?

For infants, a wet washcloth or a “tender touch" is an ideal way to clean teeth. Smearing a small amount of fluoridated toothpaste on the cloth can be helpful. A toothbrush with soft bristles and a small head can be used as they get older. Brushing at least once a day, at bedtime, will remove plaque bacteria that can lead to decay and poor dental hygiene.

How can I help my child when they begin teething?

Sore gums when teeth appear are part of the normal teething process. The discomfort is eased for some children by use of a teething biscuit, a piece of toast or a frozen teething ring. Your pharmacy should also have medications that can be rubbed on the gums to reduce the discomfort.

Let your kids enjoy these dental health games!