It is crucial to instill healthy habits in children at a very young age to help them maintain good oral health. At clinique dentaire Caroline Provencher, we do our very best to provide children with a pleasant environment that is conducive to quality dental care. We are also committed to education. We take the time to teach them how to care for their growing teeth.
Our young patients are always happy to spend some time in our special waiting room for kids, which is equipped with video games, and they feel at ease in the capable hands of our attentive dentists, whose priority is their well-being and putting smiles back on their faces!
Your child’s first visit
Most dentists recommend a first visit for children at age 2.
We understand the importance of this first visit, so our dentists and dental hygienists are careful to put your child at ease and establish a relationship of trust. They will examine and clean your child’s teeth, and remind you of proper brushing and flossing techniques.
Approximately 50% of people feel a certain amount of uneasiness when they visit the dentist. Be careful not to pass this type of fear on to your children. By giving them the right information and maintaining a positive attitude, you can minimize their anxiety and shape their future relationship with the dentist. Your cooperation before, during and after the visit is crucial.
Before the First Visit
Feel free to read your child a story about someone’s first trip to the dentist.
Clearly explain to your child what the dentist will do, and go over each step of the visit the night before.
Be careful not to tell your child that he won’t experience any pain or discomfort during the visit.
During the Visit
We may ask you to hold your child on your lap during the examination.
In the case of older children, some dentists prefer that you go back to the waiting room after you have met with them and introduced them to your child.
Pay close attention to the dental health recommendations for your child.
Always keep a positive attitude with respect to the visit.
Ask for the next appointment in six months.
After the Visit
Ensure that children brush their teeth at least twice per day or after every meal.
Have them floss every day.
Monitor your child’s diet, and offer foods that are low in sugar.
Up to age 10, it is recommended that you brush your child’s teeth at night before bed.
If your child is teething and experiencing pain,
try rubbing your child’s gums with your finger
or with the back of a chilled small spoon.
If the pain persists, your dentist, pharmacist or physician can recommend an over-the-counter medication to ease the pain.
What Not to Do
Do not use the type of pain medication that is rubbed on the child’s gums, because your child may swallow it.
Do not give your child teething biscuits, because they may contain added or hidden sugar.
Never ignore a fever. Teething does not cause illness or fever in children. If your child’s body temperature rises, consult your physician.
All 20 of your child’s baby teeth should appear by age 2 or 3.
It is perfectly normal for infants to want to suckle, because that is how they relax and feed themselves. As your child reaches age 2 or 3, the need to suckle should diminish. If not, it is better to use a pacifier rather than allow children to suck their thumbs.
Because you can control when and how your children use a pacifier, but the same is not true of sucking their thumbs. Do not put sugar, honey or corn syrup on the pacifier, because doing so can cause tooth decay. Ideally, children will stop sucking before they reach age 3. Continuing to suck their thumbs or use a pacifier after permanent teeth have grown can adversely affect the normal growth of the jaw and the position of the teeth.
Tooth decay in young children
Breast milk, infant formula, cow’s milk and fruit juice all contain sugar.
Infants can develop tooth decay as a result of
going to bed with a bottle of milk, infant formula or juice,
or sleeping while breastfeeding with the mouth still full of milk.
This type of tooth decay can appear up to age 4. Once your child’s teeth have grown, examine them every month. Look out for stains or dull white lines forming on the teeth near the gums. Also be aware of dark colored teeth. If you see any of these signs, take your child to the dentist immediately. Tooth decay in young children must be treated quickly. If you wait, your child may suffer and develop an infection. If you have been giving your child milk, infant formula or juice in a bottle at bedtime, it may be difficult to stop suddenly.
You can try filling the bottle with water instead.
If your child refuses the water, try using a clean pacifier, a stuffed animal or a blanket.
Don’t give up on the new routine if your child cries. Console your child and try again.
If none of these recommendations are effective, try gradually diluting the milk in the bottle with water until the bottle contains only water. If you are breastfeeding, try to remove your child from your breast before he or she falls asleep.
Filling a baby tooth
Why fill a baby tooth that is going to fall out anyway?
Children may have some baby teeth up to age 12, and it is sometimes necessary to fill them before they fall out. Broken or infected teeth can be detrimental to your child’s health and self-esteem. When filling a tooth, the dentist removes the cavity and replaces it with an amalgam or composite. A filling is often an easy and inexpensive way to resolve a problem that could otherwise be very painful and expensive. This procedure stops the progress of the decay from damaging more of the tooth.
On the other hand, if the tooth is not filled and the decay progresses, extraction may be the only option. In such a case, the dentist may recommend a space retainer in order to give the permanent tooth enough room to grow properly. Otherwise, a missing baby tooth can result in migration of the other teeth, filling the space before the permanent tooth can grow.