What Milton, ON parents need to know about the importance of kids’ dental health
Never underestimate the importance of oral health at any age. Scott and Derry Dental Care in Milton, ON welcomes infants, kids, and adults because it is never too soon or too late for excellent oral health. We are truly a family dental practice, a place where you will feel comfortable and cared for.
How childhood oral health creates a foundation for a lifetime of smiles
The most obvious benefit of a lifelong commitment to oral health is a nice smile, and a greatly reduced risk of painful toothaches. However, that is just the beginning. Oral disease has been linked to systemic health problems including diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and many more.
Early hygiene and dental care habits can stick with a person for life, so now is the time to set your little one on a path to good health. That is why we strive to educate (not lecture) young patients about the importance of oral health, in a fun and relatable way, while providing top quality treatments.
What to expect during kids’ dental appointments
A baby’s first dental appointment is usually scheduled around twelve months of age, or sooner if teeth begin erupting. This visit is an opportunity for baby to get used to the sights and sounds of our office, as well as meeting Dr. Jifri and her team. It is essentially a checkup; no dental procedures are performed unless there is a problem. One of the most important aspects of this appointment is discussion. We will help you understand what to expect as teeth develop, signs of trouble to watch for, and how to care for that growing smile. You are encouraged to ask questions and mention any concerns that you may have.
As your child grows, we will continue working with you to help him or her enjoy great oral health. Preventive treatments such as fluoride or dental sealants may be recommended for older kids. If cavities or other problems develop, we will use the gentlest and most efficient treatment techniques possible, to provide a fast, comfortable experience.
Kids oral health tips for every age
The best time to begin oral hygiene is right now, even if your child doesn’t have teeth yet.
- At any age – Avoid sharing eating utensils, straws, or cups and glasses with your baby. Something as simple as giving your child a sip from your glass of water might seem quite harmless. Of course, you would not do this when you had a cold. However, many people are unaware that they can pass along cavity-causing bacteria.
- Before teeth erupt – After feeding, use a soft cloth or gauze to gentle wipe baby’s gums. Your child should have his or her first dental appointment by age one. Babies younger than that don’t need to see a dentist as long as they don’t have teeth yet. However, if you have any concerns about your baby’s oral health or development, feel free to schedule an appointment at any time. Dr. Jifri and her team welcome patients of all ages.
- After the first tooth – If your baby hasn’t had a dental checkup yet, now is the time to get started. For at-home care, that little tooth, and others soon to follow, need to be brushed. Use a toothbrush designed for infants, with a small head and soft bristles. At first you can just wet the brush. When you start using toothpaste, an amount about the size of a grain of rice. Gradually increase the amount of toothpaste as the child grows.
- Toddlers – Continue brushing and flossing for your child until he or she is old enough to use the toothbrush. Supervise oral hygiene until the child has learned to brush and floss effectively and is able to rinse and spit without help. Choose a toothbrush with soft bristles and an appropriate size head, as well as a handle that is comfortable for little hands.
- Older kids to teens – By around age six, most children are able to brush, floss, rinse, and spit by themselves. However, they still need help remembering to do it. It is also important to talk with kids and teens about the importance of oral health. Developing good habits and a good attitude about oral health now can benefit a child for life.
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