HOW TO TAKE CARE OF YOUR CHILD'S TEETH + GIVEAWAY
Did you know that babies are born with teeth that are hidden under their gums? These teeth have been forming since you were in your first trimester of pregnancy. Some people may think that baby teeth aren’t important because they are the primary set of teeth and a permanent set will grow in when they get older. This is FALSE, baby teeth are super important!
The first teeth usually start to emerge around six to nine months of age for most children. By two or three years of age they should have their full set of baby teeth, sometimes referred to as milk teeth. This first set of teeth is very important speech, eating, and helping maintain proper spacing for the arrival of the adult teeth which start to appear when the child is five to seven years old.
SEEING A DENTIST
The Alberta Dental Association and College, as well as most dentists, recommend a child sees a dentist around the age of one, or when the first teeth appear. This visit is usually referred to as a “Happy Visit” and mostly a meet and greet so the child and dentist have a chance to start building a relationship early. At this first visit, the dentist will take a look in the child’s mouth and look for any major concerns with the teeth, gums, and jaws. Mostly though, it is an education session to discuss any specific concerns or challenges parents may have regarding their child’s teeth.
It is important to get your child in to see the dentist early. The dental office can be a very intimidating place for a child. It is an unfamiliar environment with lots of strange sights and sounds. It is not uncommon for children to be scared on their first few visits. The important thing for both the dental team and the parents is to be patient.
It is important to start tooth-brushing and flossing habits early in your child’s life to develop lifelong oral health habits. For kid’s toothbrushes, it is best to select a brush that is soft with rounded bristles. Most importantly, it needs to be the right size for their mouth. Toothbrushes should also be replaced at least every 3-4 months. Also, kids need some help with brushing their teeth until they are at least 6 years old.
For my boys, we used regular manual toothbrushes until they were 4 years old and then we invested in electric toothbrushes. An electric toothbrush that we loved is the Philips Sonicare for Kids. It states on the box the patented sonic technology is "up to 75% more effective than manual toothbrushes for better check-ups guaranteed."
Some of the benefits of the Philips Sonicare that I found were: (1) A two minute timer on the toothbrush is great as it gets kids to brush longer. The brush beeps at every 30 second interval, to cue to move onto the next quadrant which is very helpful. (2) The two power modes on the toothbrush is useful- a less intense mode for younger kids is awesome, especially if they are a bit wary of the moving brush in their mouth to start with. (3) the app is fun and the character Sparkly makes a great coach and motivator to make brushing fun. But you don’t have to use the app if you don’t want to!
Some of the annoying bits were: (1) $60 for the toothbrush and replacement heads at $10 each is pricey compared to regular toothbrushes that cost about $2-$3 each. (2) If your child insists on using the app, it may be annoying to go running around the house looking for your phone, when bedtime is already dragging on. (3) It was more difficult to stop the brush in time, without it spraying stuff all over, if your child decides he wants to spit out.
That said, the benefits outweigh the annoyances. Plus, anything to make tooth brushing fun for kids is always a win for any mom!
Dr. Archie Tang at Concept Dentistry has generously provided a Philips Sonicare for Kids Electric Toothbrush as a giveaway! You can enter for the draw by liking us on Facebook and tagging a friend on the post. Good luck!