At what age will my child’s first tooth erupt?

Your child’s first baby tooth usually erupts around six to ten months. It is not uncommon for the first tooth to erupt as early as four months. Permanent teeth will begin erupting around age six.

At what age will my child lose their first tooth?

Children usually lose their first tooth around 6 years old. If dental trauma occurs, your child may lose teeth even sooner. Unless your child’s tooth is decayed or overcrowded, the baby teeth should fall out naturally. 

How do I brush my child’s teeth and which toothpaste should I use?

We recommend cleaning your child's teeth as soon as the first tooth erupts. It is best to use a wet washcloth or gauze when wiping plaque from the teeth and gums. For best oral hygiene, repeat this process twice a day or after every meal. 

For children under the age of two, a smear of infant toothpaste is recommended. Between the ages of 2-5, we advise using a pea-sized amount of fluoridated toothpaste.  

Once your child has several baby teeth, a soft-bristled toothbrush with a small head is recommended. It is best that parents brush and floss their child’s teeth until they reach the age of 7 or 8.

What foods are good for my child’s teeth? What are foods that are bad for my child’s teeth?

Even though some foods are known to be healthy, they are not always good for your teeth. Examples of foods that are good for your teeth are: 

  • Apples, Celery, Carrots
  • Nuts
  • Leafy greens
  • Yogurt
  • Cheese

Foods that are bad for your teeth include:

  • Sports drinks
  • Soda
  • Lemons
  • Chewy Candy
  • Chips, Bread and Pasta

What is a cavity?

Cavities or tooth decay occur when bacteria is left on the tooth. This bacteria produces acid which destroys the tooth enamel, creating a hole or pit. This can become very sensitive, causing pain and discomfort. 

How did my child get cavities?

Diets that are high in sugar, such as juice, soda, and sweets can put your child at risk. If your child does not practice proper oral hygiene, the risk for cavities is even higher. When these sugars are left on the teeth, acid develops from the bacteria resulting in weakened enamel. This weak enamel becomes subject to holes known as cavities. 

How can I reduce my child’s risk for developing cavities?

It is important for parents to help brush and floss their children’s teeth until 7 or 8 years old. Limit the amount of sugar in your child’s diet, while encouraging more water. Limit snacking between meals. It is recommended to visit the dentist every 6 months to ensure proper oral hygiene. 

Should I be concerned about my child grinding their teeth? 

There are a few reasons why your child may be grinding their teeth. Children may grind or clench their jaws because their bite isn't properly aligned. Other causes may be an earache or permanent teeth erupting. Grinding is a response to pain as a method to ease the discomfort. If you find that your child is grinding their teeth or clenching their jaw, do not worry. Most children grow out of this stage. However, if you find that the grinding is persistent, please consult the doctor for an examination and solution such as mouth guards. 

When will my child be ready for braces?

The American Association of Orthodontics recommends that children are evaluated by an orthodontist around age 7. This is to evaluate the growth and development of their jaws, including the eruption pattern of permanent teeth. Treatment can be broken down into two phases; Phase I (early treatment) and Phase II (adolescent treatment). Phase I treatment covers children between the ages of 6-12. Phase II treatment deals with permanent teeth and bite relationship.

My child is sucking their thumb, how does that affect their teeth? 

Thumb sucking is not an issue until the permanent teeth erupt. Once the adult teeth begin eruption, it is so important to help your child end this habit. Thumb sucking can cause issues with tooth alignment and growth. The thumb can also change the roof of your child’s mouth, which can lead to speech problems. Children typically lose interest in thumb sucking around the age of four.

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