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Q: My child is just starting to get his/her first teeth. What do I need to do to care for them?

Monday, November 5, 2012

-First you want to get your child used to having something in their mouth.  Start by gently massaging their gums with a wet washcloth to wipe anything off their teeth and gums;

-As more teeth start erupting you can begin using a soft children size toothbrush;

-Try having your child sit or lie in your lap, facing away from you, and brush his/her teeth as if you are brushing your own;

-Give your child as many breaks as needed;

-Use a non fluoridated toothpaste until the age of 3;

-Healthy and balanced diet is just as important to your child's oral health and hygiene. Make sure she is eating balanced and nutritious meals. Don't have them graze on chips, candy or caramel. We don’t recommend fruit juice for your child as it is very high in sugar and acid that can harm his/her teeth (it’s better to have your child eat a piece of fruit rather than drink the juice).

-Once they turn 3, you may use a rice size amount of fluoridated tooth paste. Instruct them clearly to spit out the toothpaste. I brush my daughter's teeth with the popular "mint flavoured" toothpaste because she hates the taste, and she ends up spitting out every little bit of it. Don't get their favourite flavoured toothpaste because they may end up swallowing it.

-As your child gains dexterity he/she can begin brushing his/her teeth. Try letting your child start brushing and make sure you finish the brushing to ensure it is being done adequately. They need to be supervised until the age of 7;

-Brushing should take approximately 2 minutes (or about the time it takes to sing ‘Twinkle Twinkle’ or the "ABC song" twice)

-Floss your child's teeth every night. It doesn't matter whether you do it before or after the brushing.

-Finally, take good care of your own teeth too! Make sure you brush and floss twice a day!

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