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    261 Spring St Cobourg ON K9A 3K3 CA

Healthy Teeth: Why Starting Early is Key

The key defence against tooth decay is preventive hygiene. This is why it is important to start your oral health routine early, according to our Cobourg dentists.

As parents of an infant, you might think that visiting the dentist can wait until your child has a mouthful of teeth. However, according to the Canadian Dental Association, it is recommended to schedule a dental assessment as soon as your child's first tooth appears or by the age of 12 months.

The initial visit serves as an opportunity for your child to become familiar with the dentist and establish a trusting relationship. During this visit, a brief examination of their teeth and gums will be conducted. Following this, regular visits every six months, just like adults, are advised for pediatric dental care.

3 Reasons to Bring Your Child to The Dentist Early

  1. Build trust. Showing trust in your dentist can teach your child that visits to the dentist are safe and an important step in the prevention and treatment of problems.
  2. Check technique. Find out if the teeth cleaning routine at home is working. If spots are being missed, early discovery is key to keeping those teeth healthy!
  3. Proactive approach. By visiting the dentist every six months, your dentist can be proactive and catch any developing issues early.
It is crucial to recognize that a child's primary ("baby") teeth are more susceptible to early childhood tooth decay due to their thinner protective enamel compared to permanent teeth. Early childhood tooth decay can cause pain and have a negative impact on your child's overall health. It can also lead to difficulties with sleeping, speaking, and eating, as well as hinder their ability to concentrate and learn.

Tips to Encourage Good Dental Care for Your Child

  • Begin even before the first tooth appears! Using a clean, damp cloth, wipe your baby’s gums twice a day.
  • Avoid offering bottles prior to naps or bedtime. If you can’t avoid it, try using water instead of milk or juice to avoid decay. Limit time with a bottle to five minutes or less to help prevent the development of orthodontic issues.
  • Take your child for their first dental visit around 12 months of age.
  • At the first sign of a tooth, brush your child’s teeth daily using a soft-bristled toothbrush and a very small amount of fluoride-free toothpaste until they’re old enough to spit it out (typically around 3 years old).
  • Let your child practice brushing by copying you, then finish for them, making sure that all surfaces have been cleaned. Your child will need help with brushing until they’re about 8 years old.
  • Teach your child to brush for two minutes twice a day.
  • Replace toothbrushes every few months or when they begin to show signs of wear, such as flattening or bushy bristles.
  • Bring your child for regular dental visits. Every six months is optimal, but this may vary depending on your dentist.

Contact our dentists at Spring Street Dental to book your child's next dental cleaning appointment today.

Treat yourself to a healthy smile today. Book an appointment with our team!

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