Pediatric Dentistry FAQ
- When should my child begin using toothpaste and how often should he/she brush?
We encourage using toothpaste early on; starting at birth. Your infant’s gums can be cleaned with a soft brush or even just a cloth and some water. When your baby starts to get teeth you want to brush them twice a day with a small amount of fluoride toothpaste. You should use a small and soft toothbrush designed for your baby’s age.
When your child reaches age 3 and up until age 6 you can increase the amount of toothpaste to pea-size and continue to help them brush. Most children require help in effective brushing so it’s important to ensure they’re doing it correctly. Make sure they do not swallow the toothpaste and spit it out followed by a good rinse with water.
- When should my child have their first dentist visit?
Generally speaking your child should see a dentist regularly as soon as the first tooth fully erupts. This helps prevent any dental problems. However, we understand not all parents feel it necessary but we still encourage proactive measures to ensure your child has optimal oral health from the very start.
- What do I use to clean my baby’s teeth?
As mentioned above, we recommend an age-appropriate toothbrush. Soft bristles and a small head allow for easy and effective cleaning for your baby’s teeth every night before bed.
- Should I alter my child’s diet to ensure their teeth are healthy?
The diet plays a role in oral health so we encourage you to make sure your child has a balanced diet and consumes the recommended daily servings of each food group. Doing so ensures they receive the proper vitamins and nutrients for healthy growth and healthy teeth. Limiting the amount of starchy and sugary foods will help prevent tooth decay.
- As a parent, what can I do to help my child prevent tooth decay?
As mentioned above, regular visits with your paediatric dentist is important as soon as the first tooth erupts. The dentist can provide a program for the parents to help supervise and encourage regular brushing, flossing and any other required treatments for the child. When your child visits the dentist regularly and follows a consistent home treatment with a balanced diet they will benefit for a lifetime from these healthy habits.
- Is there a way to prevent tooth decay when nursing?
Yes. The best way to prevent decay is never putting your child to sleep (whether in bed or while nursing) with anything in their mouth. The only exception is a bed-time bottle filled with water. See the paediatric dentist regularly and brush your baby’s gums regularly. Before your child’s first birthday is when you should expect to schedule the first paediatric dentist visit.
- What do I do if my child loses a permanent tooth due to an accident?
First of all, calm your nerves because not all is lost! Locate the tooth, holding the tooth by the crown and not the root, and see if you can replace it back in the socket. If it will not go back in the socket place the tooth in milk and phone your paediatric dentist immediately to let them know you’re bringing your child and their tooth to the office.
- What is so different about paediatric dentistry versus family dentistry? Paediatric dentists could also be called the paediatricians of dentistry. Paediatric dentists attend dental school and follow up with specialty training for two to three years. There are different areas that a paediatric dentist might specialize including cavity prevention, behaviour management, growth and development and sedation dentistry, among others.
- How important are baby teeth?
The baby teeth are very important for the correct growth of the permanent teeth that will follow in their place. Some baby teeth will remain up to the age of 12 (sometimes older) because they are necessary. Cavities should be prevented but should they occur they need to be taken care of immediately. Otherwise, tooth pain, infection and other general health discomforts could develop.
- Does my child have to be sedated for dental work?
Your child’s regular dental visit should not require the need for sedation but some children may have a harder time sitting still and/or cooperating during the visit. Sedation might be a good option if this occurs. Sedation could be helpful in preventing any trauma or physical pain due to the treatment than if the child isn’t sedated and the dentist continued or could not complete the treatment altogether.
If you have more questions regarding the oral health of your child just call Martindale Dental to schedule a visit. Our team of professionals care about their work and helping children learn to develop healthy oral habits early on.
Martindale Dental provides both general and specialty dentistry under one roof. For more than 20 years, our dentists have been advocates for their patients oral health care needs. Our dental offices are conveniently located in Toronto, North York, St Catharines, North York, Burlington, Milton East and Milton West, Ontario. We offer convenient before & after work and weekend appointments.