The care of children's teeth

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The care of children's teeth
The care of children's teeth

A study by the Public He alth Department of Montreal-Centre and the University of Montreal shows that 42% of children entering kindergarten have cavities on their primary teeth.


But when is it the ideal time to take the child to a dentist? Some advise to go before the age of one year, d others recommend waiting until 2-3 years of age. When you think about it, between the two, there is also the question of comfort to consider! If your baby starts screaming as soon as he sees the dentist, the doctor or anyone else, it becomes a traumatic experience for everyone we don't like not repeat too much. So, from there to make an appointment with the dentist voluntarily… It's true that with good housekeeping, we can afford to wait until baby grows up a little!

A little, but not too much… An acquaintance waited until her daughter was three years old to take her to the dentist: the little one was terrified of doctors and nurses, so her mother was reluctant to see him undergo a dental examination. The good news is that it went very well between the dentist and the child… The bad news, the child had 10 cavities!

Baby Care

BeforeEven as her first teeth appear, baby's mouth and gums should be cleaned with a soft washcloth after each feed or meal.

It's when the first tooth appears that we start using a soft toothbrush designed for toddlers. An adult should not only supervise brushing until the age of 4, but actually do it themselves to make sure the child goes everywhere. To make it comfortable for everyone, it is recommended to sit on the floor with the child's head on their knees. With their mouths wide open, mom and dad will be able to clearly see the little teeth to brush. You can add a little toothpaste, but an amount corresponding to the size of a pea is more than enough.

There are 20 baby teeth. They normally erupt beginning with the central incisors (lower middle teeth) at 6 to 10 months of age and ending with the molars shortly after 2 years of age. The loss of these teeth occurs between the ages of 6 and 12.

Look for early warning signs of early tooth decay by lifting baby's lips. White, chalky teeth are a sign of a mild case; brown or black stained teeth indicate a more serious condition that requires immediate attention.

Children who experience early caries tend to remain at high risk when they have their permanent teeth.

Upper Teeth

Central incisor 8 to 12 months 6 to 7 years
Lateral incisor 9 to 13 months 7 to 8 years
Canine 16 to 22 months 10 to 12 years old
First Molar 13 to 19 months 9 to 11 years old
Second Molar 25 to 33 months 10 to 12 years old

Lower teeth

Central incisor 6 to 10 months 6 to 7 years
Lateral incisor 10 to 16 months 7 to 8 years
Canine 17 to 23 months 9 to 12 years old
First Molar 14 to 18 months 9 to 11 years old
Second Molar 23 to 31 months 10 to 12 years old

Bottle decay

Toddlers, like the little girl we were talking about earlier, are particularly susceptible to what is called bottle decay, cavities which are caused by the prolonged presence of liquids in the child's mouth, such as when he falls asleep with his bottle in his mouth! It's nice to see, but it's not innocent… Only rigorous oral care and regular visits to the dentist can prevent cavities in children.

Whether or not to breastfeed and for how long is a very personal decision. While experts agree that breastfeeding is very beneficial to your baby's he alth, studies have shown thatlong-term breastfeeding may be associated with increased acid production and a higher risk of early caries. As a general guideline to minimize this risk, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that babies be weaned from the bottle or breast at 12 months of age, and taught to cup.


If your baby uses a pacifier,check the packaging and shape to make sure it is of orthodontic design. The best ones are those that have a nipple shape, keep the baby's lips closed and encourage natural nasal breathing. Never dip pacifiers in anything sweet. Honey is one of the most damaging foods for teeth.


Sour saliva

Gradually introducing foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables into his diet will help his saliva regain a better balance of acidity. These foods, which need to be chewed vigorously and for a long time, stimulate the flow of saliva, which reduces its acidity and returns the calcium to the teeth, which protects them against cavities.

Care for children's teeth

The early loss of baby teeth can affect language behaviors, the ability to chew and the use of the tongue. Baby teeth hold space for future permanent teeth. If the child loses a tooth due to caries, the permanent tooth may erupt at an angle,and thus cause overlapping of the adult teeth.

Between the ages of 4 and 7, encourage your child to brush their teeth on their own by showing them the back and forth motion from top to bottom and supervise them until they reach the age 10 years old. Speaking of maintenance… Funny to say, but the hardest part of teaching a child to brush their teeth isn't the exercise itself… It's teaching them to spit. the “good bubblegum toothpaste” rather than swallowing it…! Not always obvious! However, it is very important to make him spit and rinse his mouth well, because if the child swallows his toothpaste like candy, he will end up with a fluoride overdose problem.

Sealing of furrows

Fissure sealing of permanent molars is an effective preventive measure against caries. It is used to obstruct the cavities which are numerous on the molars. Sealing is done with a thin layer of liquid resin, much like nail polish. The installation of this sealant is not covered by the Quebec he alth insurance program, but most private insurers reimburse the cost (around $50 per tooth).


Fluoride acts in two ways on the teeth: during their formation, it makes the teeth, to a certain extent, naturally resistant to cavities. When the teeth have pierced the gums, the fluoride that we absorb is added and reduces the risk of developing cavities by 60 percent.

Thefluoride is therefore important for the protection of the teeth. But the child who absorbs too much fluoride will develop what is called in the jargon of the trade, dental fluorosis. The main consequence of this is the appearance of not very pretty brown or white spots on his teeth… And in addition, the enamel of his teeth will become rough and therefore difficult to clean, one more problem! It's a shame because these children often end up in cosmetic dentistry, later in adolescence or adulthood, these spots can be so apparent, and therefore embarrassing!

So before giving fluoride supplements to your child, it's important to do at least two things: Make a phone call to find out if your city is "fluoridating" tap water and read your tubes of toothpaste… By having a good idea of the amount of fluoride your child is absorbing, you will be better able to judge the precautions to take… And a short appointment with the dentist, that doesn't hurt either!

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