Here at Summerside Dental, we believe that good oral health and dental care should be established as soon as your children’s teeth come in. As trusted children’s dentists in Edmonton, our first priority is your child’s comfort and to create a positive dental experience for everyone. We also strongly encourage building healthy dental hygiene habits at home.
Some activities you can do to maintain your child’s teeth are:
- Participate in their nightly oral care
- Be an excellent role model by taking care of your own teeth
- Be an advocate of the dental office as being a fun and safe place to go to have their teeth cleaned and checked
- Avoid threatening remarks such as “if you don’t brush your teeth, it’s gonna hurt and you’ll have to go to the scary dentist”
- Build independence with early elementary-aged children by allowing them to do their own dental routine in the mornings and evening brushing and flossing with you
Together, we can ensure that your child’s smile remains bright and healthy as they mature!
Avoid threatening words and remarks such as, “if you don’t brush your teeth it’s gonna hurt so you’ll have to go to the scary dentist and get a needle.” Instead, speak positively with motivating language such as “it’s totally possible to have healthy teeth for life if we take great care of them every day.”
To build independence, your early-elementary-aged children may do their morning toothbrushing themselves, but an adult should do the evening brushing and flossing for them every night until they have the manual dexterity to write their name with cursive handwriting.
First Visits to the Dentist
Parents usually bring their children for their first dental visit at the age of three, although many also choose to bring them in earlier—there’s no wrong time for your child’s first dental visit.
What to Expect
At your toddler’s first visit to our dental centre, our caring providers will ask questions about the general health of your child, their oral care habits, diet, and current fluoride intake. Afterwards, we may take close-up photos or digital x-rays of your child’s teeth and bite, which will be enlarged and shown to you on a screen. An age-appropriate toothbrush and floss, and possibly a prophy or spin brush, may then be used to gently clean your child’s teeth.
The dentist will then examine the oral tissues, teeth, and bite, and may advise parents on the following issues:
- Accident prevention and minimizing the risk of tooth decay
- Choosing the appropriate toothbrush and non-fluoridated toothpaste
- Choosing an orthodontically correct pacifier until age 1, then an Infant Trainer or T4K Trainer for Kids to counteract the negative effects of a soother
- Correct positioning of the head during tooth brushing
- Maintaining good dietary habits
- Teething and developmental milestones
If you have further questions or concerns about the timing or nature of your child’s first oral checkup, please call Summerside Dental! Our pediatric dentists will make sure that your first visit will be comfortable and stress-free.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are some potential dental issues that we might encounter?
Children are at risk for tooth decay as soon as the first tooth emerges. In fact, letting your child drink pop, juice, baby formula, or sweetened water from a baby bottle or sippy cup puts them at a higher risk for early childhood cavities. For children between the ages of one and four years old, too much fluoride ingestion may also pose a threat and lead to a condition called “fluorosis” in late childhood. Conversely, too little fluoride may also make your child’s teeth more susceptible to tooth decay.
Should my child’s temporary teeth need dental care?
Yes! Temporary (or baby) teeth are also prone to erosion and cavities and could also damage the permanent teeth below. Proper care should be done as any damage could potentially affect your child’s smile, chewing, and speaking.
How do I prevent cavities in my kid's teeth?
Brush your toddler's teeth twice per day with a remineralizing toothpaste such as MIPaste (Minimally Invasive Paste), which we sell at Summerside Dental. It is made from a cow’s milk protein called “casein”, which strengthens the teeth as it bathes them with calcium and phosphate. Most children are able to brush and floss their teeth by themselves once they have the dexterity to write their names in cursive letters.
What age should I bring my child to kid-friendly pediatric dentists?
Most families have found that shortly after their child’s third birthday, the child is able to sit in a dentist's chair and have their teeth checked and cleaned. If you notice dark spots on your toddler's teeth you may schedule a primary exam or “first dental visit before age three” appointment. Your child may sit on your lap and rest his/her head back on your chest for us to see the teeth and quickly brush them with a toothbrush. If the dark spots are just staining we will try to scale them off, but if they are cavities we may need to refer your child to a Pediatric Dentist. Nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, is available at Summerside Dental Edmonton for some children who qualify for this service.
Are my child’s adult teeth coming in correctly?
If you are unsure that your child’s teeth are coming in correctly, our team at Summerside Dental can help assess the alignment of your child’s teeth and bite. You might encounter some problems such as the lower front adult teeth erupting behind the baby teeth, nearer the tongue, creating two rows of teeth — like “shark teeth”. Crowding, spacing, mouth breathing, crossbites, deep bites, or open bites are also possible and should be assessed by a professional at an early age. Interception, prevention of extraction of adult teeth, and expansion of arches create smiles that are broad, functional, and beautiful, and may save your child from needing braces in the future. Give us a call at 780 665 4833 to schedule your child’s regular checkup and cleaning appointment!