My child is teething, when should we start brushing their teeth?
Even before teething starts, it is advisable to condition the child to oral cleaning after food or nutritional bottle feeding (i.e. non-clear liquids). There are great products on the market like oral wipes for infants or soft finger cloth toothbrushes. As soon as the first two teeth on the lower jaw have come through, just add a soft baby brush mornings and evenings with just a “smear” of “training”toothpaste, continuing the wipes as well. Children are born with no bacteria in the mouth and are “infected” by the age of two through their Caregivers. That is why it is important for the caregiver to have good oral hygiene during pregnancy and no teeth needing repair.
At what age should I bring my child for the first visit to the dentist?
At My Kid’s Dentist, we like to see them at about age one, then again at two years and after that twice yearly. That way we can catch signs of proneness to decay or crooked teeth and develop a prevention strategy in time to make a difference.
Are there any signs to look out for while teething that may affect them in the future?
Most teething problems are transient and though uncomfortable at the moment (pain and fever, crankiness) do not usually have long term effects. One sign of possible proneness to tooth decay would be yellowish teeth at a very early age, most likely due to a build-up of plaque. Some children have very chalky looking teeth, or variations in surface colour; both should be seen by a dentist early, in order to rule out enamel defects and possible weaknesses in the teeth.
Should we be concerned about comfort blankets or toys being put in to the mouth?
Yes and No. Yes because accidents can happen with these objects in the mouth; milk teeth can actually be pulled by siblings or parents yanking on a blanket which is in the mouth of a young child and caught on one of the delicate lower front teeth. Teeth break more readily when a child falls on his chin with a toy between the teeth. On the other hand, one does not really have to worry about bacteria from these objects per se, because they are of a different sort than the bacteria which live in the mouth and cause decay. They are more likely to catch a cold virus from the child who had it before, than tooth decay.
How often should they brush their teeth?
Twice daily is a must, from the first tooth on.
Do you offer diet advice?
Yes, there are many small details in diet which make a difference in the number and severity of “acid attacks” on the teeth. We will analyze your child’s diet and make appropriate suggestions to prevent cavities.
What are the general typical treatments you offer a child of this age?
Most children have healthy teeth at this age, but we are interested in analysing the probability of future difficulties so we look carefully at the growth, development and inherited aspects of the mouth and teeth in order to specifically advise parents on raising their children with healthy and beautiful teeth. An important “first treatment” is tooth brushing and flossing advice and support, including professional cleanings ensuring the child’s mouth has few bacteria, good saliva and the right minerals available to harden the teeth. We offer sealants on primary teeth and other typical areas of concern for the parents are thumb-sucking, bad breath, grinding of the teeth, crowding or other appearance issues.