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10 Dental Tips for Children

  1. Brush in the morning and at night. Your child should learn how to brush properly. Teach by example. If they see you brush, they will also want to brush. It should take at least 2 minutes for a thorough brushing. Check on them occasionally and don't let them ignore home care which is the most important part of good oral hygiene.

  2. Professional Teeth Whitening at a Maple Dental OfficeAs early as possible teach them how to floss. If they can ride a bicycle they can also learn to floss properly. Teaching by example would be great for the whole family.

  3. Choose the right brush. Toothbrushes should be soft and be the right size for your child's mouth. There are so many to choose from so let your child pick one that they really like and will be happy to brush with.

  4. There are many types of toothpaste on the market. Some are marketed for children. Choose only the ones recommended by the Canadian Dental Association (CDA). When dispensing the paste you should only put on enough to cover just half the bristles of the brush. About the size of a pea.

  5. Make sure they are getting enough, not too much fluoride as their teeth are developing. Teeth start to form in the second trimester and when they develop with fluoride they have much greater resistance to the damage that can be caused by plaque. It happens that the fluoridated water has the right amount of fluoride you need. If you only drink bottled water chances are your child is not getting enough fluoride. There are fluoride supplements available. If you drink well water, you can have your water tested by public health for its fluoride and other mineral content.

  6. Regular check-ups. At our practice we usually recommend that children start visiting the dentist after the 3rd birthday. If during the course of observing your child's teeth you see something that does not appear normal we can evaluate the situation and take proper action.

  7. Avoid putting your child to bed with a baby bottle of juice or milk. When the sugars from the juice or milk remain on the enamel for hours, they eat away at it. This creates a surface on the teeth which is very easy for bacteria to stick to and create large cavities. In some cases the only treatment is to extract. Healthy teeth are not only for eating with. They are needed for proper speech and having a confident smile.

  8. Thumb-sucking is quite normal. However in some children the habit persists past the age of 4 years. If it does it may effect the position of the teeth and some preventive treatment may be necessary to overcome the habit.

  9. Diet is very important for good oral health. Try to give them a diet that is nutritious and not filled with 'empty calories'. When it comes time for snacking there are alternatives to snacks rich in sugar, like cheese and crackers and carrots, celery, popcorn, pretzels etc. Of course most everyone likes chocolate and ice cream and candy and pop. If given in moderation and providing there is good homecare there should be no problems. The best time to give these types of snacks is at desert time because the amount of saliva that clears the mouth is greatest at meal times.

  10. If you can't brush your teeth after a meal or a sugary snack, then rinsing your mouth with water to clear most of the foods from your mouth is a good oral hygiene practice.

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Maple, Ontario L6A 3Y8
(1 Block North of Major Mackenzie)

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