Kids' Teeth

Children's teeth begin forming before birth. As early as four months, the first primary or baby teeth erupt through the gums. All 20 of the primary teeth usually appear by age three, although their pace and order of eruption varies.

Oral health for children

To help ensure oral health and a lifetime of good oral care habits:

  • Limit children’s sugar intake.
  • Make sure children get enough fluoride, either through drinking water or supplement to diet.
  • Teach children how to brush.
  • Supervise brushing sessions, which can be a challenge for small hands.

Major obstacles to children's oral health


Babies

  • "Baby bottle tooth decay":
    – Wipe gums with gauze or a clean washcloth and water after feeding.
    – When teeth appear, brush daily with a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste.
    – Put child to bed with a bottle of water, not milk or juice.
  • Thumb sucking:
    – Not a concern until about four years of age or when permanent teeth appear; after this time, it could cause dental changes.
  • White spots on teeth:
    – As soon as the first tooth appears (at about six months), begin cleaning the child's teeth daily and schedule a dental appointment.

Toddlers

  • Fear of the dentist:
    – Hold the child in the parent's lap during the exam.
  • Difficulty creating an oral care routine:
    – Involve the whole family – brush together at the same time each day to create a good habit.

Primary schoolers

  • Love of sweets:
    – Give children healthy snack options, like carrots and other fresh vegetables, plain yogurt and cheese.
  • Stains from antibiotics:
    – Speak to the pediatrician before any medication is prescribed.

Teenagers

  • Braces:
    – Make sure that teens brush well around braces, using a floss threader to remove all food particles.
  • Oral accidents from sports:
    – Encourage children to wear mouth guards during sports.

The following are key preventive measures to preserve oral health through childhood

Fluoride treatments to strengthen tooth enamel and resist decay. This may include fluoride supplements in areas where drinking water is not optimally fluoridated. Be sure to ask your dentist about supplements to determine if they are needed.

Dental sealants to provide a further layer of protection against cavities. Sealants are made of plastic and are bonded to the teeth by the dental team.

A fun oral care regime to help encourage children to brush more regularly. Kid’s Crest® Cavity Protection is a fluoride toothpaste with Sparkle Fun flavour just for kids. And the Oral B® Stages® Kids’ Power Toothbrush makes brushing fun, with popular Disney characters and a patented oscillating Power head.

 
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