In the past, there was a widespread belief that children did not need to visit the dentist—even after their permanent teeth had come in. The reality is that with high-sugar diets and longer life expectancies, we should get kids into good oral hygiene practices early on. Bring your child in for a check-up as early as his first birthday for optimal oral health over their lifetime.

The earlier your child begins regular dental care, the more likely they will develop good lifelong habits. Dental health concerns can become debilitating if left untreated, so it is crucial to establish the proper habits as early as possible.

Babies’ teeth first usually appear between six and nine months of age

Your child’s teeth first appear between six and nine months of age, although there may be some variation. Most commonly, the first teeth to come in are the lower central incisors (the two lower front teeth). There is a general pattern to the eruption of the other 20 primary teeth over the next three years. At around six years old, your child can expect to lose their first primary tooth.  All their primary teeth will eventually fall out and be replaced with permanent teeth.  First adult molars usually erupt at approximately age 6; second molars erupt at approximately age 12 and wisdom teeth may appear between ages 17 and 25.  Adult molars erupt behind the primary (baby) molars, so sometimes parents are not even aware when permanent teeth come in, since nothing has fallen out.

It’s essential to care for primary (baby) teeth because they help your child chew food and speak clearly. They also help develop the muscles in the mouth and maintain facial structure, which is important for eating habits. Proper oral hygiene during the first six years of life can prevent cavities and other problems later.

A cavity in baby teeth can affect the adult teeth under them

If your child has a cavity in one of their baby teeth, it’s important to schedule a dental appointment as soon as possible so that the adult tooth growing under that baby tooth won’t be affected. Baby teeth are important for many reasons: they help your child chew food and speak clearly. They also help keep the jaw bones properly aligned as they grow. If there is a cavity in a baby tooth, it can affect the adult teeth under them.

The earlier you start taking your child to the dentist, the more likely they will develop good lifelong habits

Taking your child to the dentist as soon as their first tooth breaks through is essential. The earlier you start taking your child to the dentist, the more likely they will develop good lifelong habits.

This means brushing your teeth twice a day with a soft-bristled brush and flossing once a day at least. It also means regular dental visits (every six months) so that your child can be evaluated for any problems and treated before they become severe. It also means good nutrition—healthy foods should be promoted in the home, especially since many children are picky eaters!

The most common reason for childhood tooth decay is plaque that forms on baby teeth that haven’t been brushed properly

Plaque is a sticky substance that forms on teeth when bacteria in the mouth stick together. Bacteria make plaque by eating sugars and other foods, so brushing your child’s teeth after every meal is a must. Plaque can lead to tooth decay and cavities. If plaque isn’t removed before it hardens into tartar (also called calculus) it will cause gum inflammation and bone loss.

When you don’t brush regularly, plaque can make the enamel on your baby’s teeth softer than normal, making them more likely to develop cavities. These tiny holes in their smile can cause pain and infection if left untreated.

To avoid this problem altogether, ensure your child brushes at least twice daily with appropriate fluoride toothpaste. Use a pea-sized amount for children who can spit out the toothpaste properly. For younger children who cannot spit, a rice grain sized amount of toothpaste is sufficient.  Use string floss or floss picks to clean in between the teeth.

According to a recent report from the government of Alberta, Canada, poor oral health contributed to three times the regular rate of absence for children who experienced dental pain. It is imperative to regularly attend appointments with a dentist so that your child can continue to grow and develop without hindrances due to poor oral health.

Sedation Dentistry for Children

Sometimes, children can be very anxious and experience emotional duress concerning their visits to a dental clinic. When you visit a Cygnet Dental for regular dental hygiene and preventative maintenance, we will work to build positive rapport with your child and help ease their anxiety during dental exams.  We also offer sedation with nitrous oxide (laughing gas).

Grande Prairie Dental Clinic

Whether your child requires general dentistry, pediatric, or any other type of dental treatment, our professional team in Grande Prairie, Alberta, can help make their dental experience as comfortable as possible. Our general practitioner dentist, Dr. Angie Chan, provides a wide range of dental services and we are accepting new patients. Visit our dental office in Grande Prairie for a wide range of treatments, including:

For your next dental appointment, call us at 587-803-2464 or email [email protected].