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How can I help my child keep a healthy smile?

We think the foundation for long-term oral health is laid by taking care of children's baby teeth and teaching them about oral hygiene at a young age.

Every day, your child grows and learns new skills. Because these years can lay the groundwork for lifelong oral health, it is critical to pay close attention to your toddler's baby teeth and smile from a young age. We'll discuss the significance of baby teeth and how you can help your child maintain a healthy smile today.

Why are baby teeth important?

You may be wondering why baby teeth are still important if they are not permanent and will eventually fall out. Around the age of six months, the first baby teeth, which are usually the bottom front teeth, begin to erupt. Your child should have ten top teeth and ten bottom teeth by the age of three, as well as the last baby teeth in the back of the mouth and upper jaw.

Baby teeth serve a variety of functions in the mouths of our young patients. They are for talking, eating, and brightening up the room with a bright smile. Baby teeth in a child's mouth also serve as placeholders for adult teeth in the jaws.

Around age 6, your child should begin to lose their first baby tooth and adult teeth will start to emerge. The timing of this tooth loss is critical. If your child loses a baby tooth too early, contact your child's dentist about how the correct space can be kept in the mouth so the adult teeth will erupt normally. 

How should I take care of baby teeth?

Now is the time to create a solid oral health care routine for your child. By combining at-home care with regular dental visits, you can help keep your child's smile healthy. 

Brush twice per day (morning and night) to prevent cavities. 

To keep your baby's mouth clean, wipe it with a wet pad or cloth. For children under the age of three, use an ultra-soft toothbrush and a rice-sized grain of toothpaste. Children aged 3 and up should use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste.

Once your child can spit out all of the toothpaste after brushing, switch to fluoridated toothpaste (ask your dentist before switching). Brush your child's teeth together until every tooth is clean.

Visit your child's dentist regularly 

Parents should schedule their child's first dental checkup before their child turns one year old. The first baby tooth should have erupted by now. We'll show you how to care for your child's teeth at home, examine his or her mouth for plaque and cavities, and notify you when the next tooth is due. Every six months, children should visit the dentist for a professional checkup and cleaning.

Limit sugary or acidic treats 

Soda and fruit juice contain high levels of acid and sugar, which can harm your child's baby teeth. Candy and other sweets should also be avoided because they erode tooth enamel and increase your child's risk of cavities.

Look into dental sealants for your child 

Sealants are applied as special coatings to a child's molar grooves and pits (back teeth). These aid in the prevention of tooth decay on biting surfaces. If your child is at high risk of developing cavities, your dentist may recommend sealants.

Check into fluoride treatment 

Fluoride is a proactive measure to help protect your child's teeth from cavities.  

Floss regularly 

Once all the baby teeth have erupted, start flossing. There are special flossers for kids. 

This is general advice. Certain children may have special circumstances and may need to see the dentist more often for checkups or cleanings. 

Contact your Burnaby dentists to schedule an appointment for your child today.

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