You can start your child on a path to good oral habits long before they can speak and before their first tooth comes in.
Soon after they’re born, wrap a soft damp cloth around your finger and gently wipe their gums twice a day. Wiping their gums is also an effective way to prevent bacteria buildup.
When will your child’s primary teeth come in?
Primary teeth typically appear around six months, but as early as three months or as late as 12-14 months. The rest of your baby’s primary teeth will arrive over the course of 23 to 31 months.
Ask your dentist in Calgary when to start flossing your child’s teeth, but it’s generally when the teeth are close together.
Taking care of your child’s teeth
Follow the guidelines below to help your child get a great start to oral health.
- Provide healthy beverages. In the early stages, fill bottles only with breast milk or formula. Fruit juice, sugar water and soft drinks have no nutritional benefits and can lead to gum and tooth decay.
- Avoid bottle tooth decay. Never allow your baby or toddler to sleep with a bottle of breast milk or formula in their mouth. The milk sugars linger in their mouth causing an overabundance of harmful bacteria.
- Don’t dip pacifiers. Dipping pacifiers in sugar or honey is harmful to their gums and teeth. Not only is honey bad for their gums, it can cause a severe allergic reaction in children under 12 months old.
- Promote drinking water from a cup. Encourage your child to use a cup by their first birthday. Drinking water has numerous benefits for teeth and gums, and is also a great substitute for sugar-filled beverages such as juices and soda which damage teeth.
- Begin brushing right away. Get your child familiar with a toothbrush early on. You can begin gentle brushing with an infant toothbrush once the first tooth comes in. Contact a family dentist if you’re unsure of the proper technique.
- Use fluoride toothpaste. As more teeth come in, start using a rice-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste when brushing their teeth. Brush twice a day and make sure they don’t swallow the toothpaste. If you’re unsure of which products are right for your child or family, one of our dentists will gladly provide assistance.
- Supervise older children. At six or seven years old they’re usually ready to brush their own teeth using a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste. Supervise your child to ensure it’s done properly and they don’t swallow the toothpaste.
- First dental visit. Take your child to their first dental appointment within six months of their first tooth, or by the time they reach their first birthday.
Finding a family dentist in Calgary
At Strathcona Dental Works, we offer full family dental services and pride ourselves on our pediatric dental care. If you need a dentist in Calgary located in the SW end of the city, contact us today book an appointment! Our dentists would love to meet your family today! We’re conveniently located in the Strathcona Square Shopping Centre in Calgary Southwest.