It’s no secret that children need dental care. However, what may be a surprise is the importance of early dental care for children and how to find the right dentist for your child.
In this article, we will cover all aspects of children’s dentistry, from the importance of dental care to choosing the right dentist and what to expect at your child’s first appointment. We will also provide tips on brushing and flossing with kids, as well as 8+1 foods that damage teeth.
The Importance of Dental Care for Children
When we look into pediatric dentistry, the first thing that comes to mind is the importance of dental care for children. Dental care is essential for kids for various reasons. It helps develop their teeth and jaws, teaches them how to take care of their teeth properly, and helps prevent cavities and gum diseases.
Dental health is about good oral health but also about self-esteem. Children with healthy teeth are more likely to smile and be confident. On the other hand, when they have dental problems, they may become embarrassed and withdrawn. It doesn’t just boil into brushing and flossing regularly, but also inculcating healthy habits in your children from an early age.A pediatric dentist specializes in the dental work of infants, children, and adolescents. They have the experience and qualifications to ensure that young patients’ teeth have a healthy smile.
Brush your teeth in the morning when you wake up, and in the evening before you go to bed. We recommend using a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. This helps get rid of any food debris and plaque that may be stuck in your mouth. A soft-bristled toothbrush also reduces enamel wear. Remember to floss regularly to remove any food remains from between your teeth and other areas where your toothbrush may not reach.
Choosing the Right Dentist for Your Child
After knowing the importance of dental care for children, the next important thing is finding the right dentist for your child. You want a dentist that makes your child feel comfortable and can provide the best possible care.
What to Look for in a Pediatric Dentist:
- Dentists who are experienced in treating children
- An office that is specifically designed for kids
- Makes your child feel comfortable
- Can provide the best possible care
- A staff that is trained to work with kids
Questions to Request in Pediatric Dentistry:
Any good dental services will give you the opportunity to ask questions about their services for a child’s oral health.
Here are some questions that you should request any pediatric dental services:
- What is the dentist’s policy on urgent or emergency dental care?
- Do they offer any payment plans?
- What is the dentist’s policy on dental insurance?
- Does your pediatric dental practice participate in any insurance plans?
- What are the dentist’s office hours?
- What are the qualifications of the dentist?
Here are some essential questions to keep in mind when you have a dental appointment with them:
- What is the best way to brush and floss my children’s teeth?
- What are some tips for teaching my child good oral hygiene habits?
- How often should my child see a dentist?
- What are sealants, and how can they help little patients’ teeth?
- What are fluoride treatments, and how often does my child need them?
What to Expect at Your Child’s First Dental Appointment
Once you have found the right dentist for your child, you may wonder what to expect at their first dental visit. It’s usually just a consultation. This is a chance for the dentist to get to know your child and for you to ask any questions that you may have.
During the consultation, the dentist will:
- Review your child’s medical history
- Examine your child’s mouth, teeth and gums
- Take Review and X-rays of your children’s dental health (if needed)
- Discuss any concerns that they may have about your child’s dental health.
After the consultation, the dentist will share his contact details and develop a treatment plan for your children’s healthy smiles. Further dental appointments may include treatment plans, regular checkups, cleanings, and fluoride treatments.
They will also advise you on how to care for your child’s teeth at home and give Tips for Brushing and Flossing With Kids, which can be challenging but essential to ensure that they are doing it correctly.
Tips for Brushing and Flossing with Kids
At the pediatric dental clinic, you will get tips for brushing and flossing with kids.
The best way to brush your child’s teeth is to use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste on their toothbrush. You should also help them to brush their teeth twice a day, in the morning and at night.
Canadian Dental Association (CDA) suggests that parents should begin flossing their children’s teeth as soon as two of their teeth touch. Flossing is crucial because it helps remove plaque from between the teeth that the toothbrush bristles cannot reach.
Establish a routine
Brushing and flossing should become part of your child’s daily routine. You can make it fun by setting a two-minute timer and letting them brush to their favourite song.
For small children, it is important to supervise their brushing and flossing until you are confident that they can do it on their own.
Be a role model
Your child is more likely to brush and floss their teeth if they see you doing it too. Let them watch you, and then let them imitate you.
Encourage your child every time they brush and floss their teeth. You can give them stickers or praise them to show that you are proud of their excellent hygiene habits.
Use child-friendly products
Many child-friendly products on the market can make brushing and flossing fun for kids. These include toothbrushes with their favourite characters on them and flavoured toothpaste.
It is essential to be consistent with your child’s oral hygiene routine. If you brush and floss your teeth every day, so should they.
Monitor their brushing and flossing habits
As your child ages, you should monitor their brushing and flossing habits. Make sure they are using the proper technique and doing it for two minutes twice daily.
8+1 Foods That Damage Teeth
Certain foods can be bad for oral health due to the sugars and acids they contain. These foods can cause dental cavities and tooth decay and even create dental emergencies. The acids in these foods can wear away at the tooth enamel, making teeth more susceptible to cavities and other damage. The sugars in these foods can also feed the bacteria in your mouth, leading to plaque and tartar buildup. This can cause gum disease and other oral health problems.
Foods that are bad for young child teeth and oral health include:
- Sugary drinks – Sugary drinks can cause tooth decay and cavities. The sugar in the drinks sticks to the teeth, which causes bacteria to grow and produce plaque. The plaque then breaks down the enamel on the teeth, leading to cavities.
- Sticky candy – Sticky candy can also cause tooth decay and cavities. The sugar in the candy sticks to the teeth, which causes bacteria to grow and produce plaque. The plaque then breaks down the enamel on the teeth, leading to cavities.
- Hard candy – Hard candy can also cause tooth decay and cavities. The sugar in the candy sticks to the teeth, which causes bacteria to grow and produce plaque. The plaque then breaks down the enamel on the teeth, leading to cavities. Additionally, hard candy can damage your child’s braces or orthodontic appliances.
- Chips – Chips are often high in salt, which can cause tooth decay and cavities. The salt in chips can make your child’s saliva more acidic, which leads to tooth decay. Also, chips can get stuck between your child’s teeth and cause plaque buildup.
- Soda – Soda is high in sugar and acid, both of which can cause tooth decay and cavities. The sugar in soda gets stuck to the teeth, which causes bacteria to grow and produce plaque. The acid in soda wears down the enamel on your child’s teeth, leading to cavities.
- Gummy bears – Gummy bears are high in sugar and often have artificial colours and flavours added to them. Both of these ingredients can cause tooth decay and cavities. Additionally, gummy bears can get stuck in teeth and fill a child’s mouth with plaque buildup.
- Pretzels – Pretzels are often high in salt, starch and fat, which can cause tooth decay and cavities. The salt in pretzels can make your child’s saliva more acidic, which leads to tooth decay, While the starch causes plaque to build up.
- Coffee – It is high in acid, which can wear down the enamel and disturb a child’s oral health. Additionally, Coffee can stain teeth too.
- Don’t Brush Immediately – When you brush your teeth after eating, you actually brush the acids from the food into your enamel, which can cause tooth decay. It is best to wait at least 30 minutes after eating before brushing your teeth. This gives the saliva in your mouth time to neutralize the acids.
Just like with children, adults should avoid the above foods; not only are teeth important, but these unhealthy foods can lead to obesity, which increases your risk of developing chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. While you may be unable to avoid all these foods altogether, limiting your child’s intake of them is crucial.
Preventative care and good dental habits at a young age can help avoid Tooth decay and cavities while improving overall health.
Parents should brush their child’s teeth twice daily with fluoride toothpaste, floss their teeth daily, and have their child eat a balanced diet. Additionally, parents should take their children to the dentist for regular checkups and cleanings.
Following these tips can help your child maintain good oral health care.
If you are looking for a children’s dentist in Calgary, we can help. Our pediatric dentists are experienced in caring for children’s teeth and can provide your child with the necessary dental care to maintain good oral health.