At Pleasant Valley Dental, we love caring for Vernon’s growing smiles. Kids say the darndest things sometimes, but we’re more interested in what’s going on inside their mouth than what’s coming out of it. Kids are like sponges, absorbing new information every day and picking up on attitudes, mannerisms, and habits they will carry with them for life--that’s why pediatric dentistry is so important. We’re here to teach them the importance of oral health for a lifetime of happy, healthy smiles, and our friendly team works to ensure our young patients leave with positive feelings about the dentist.
Congratulations on your new bundle of joy! If it’s your first, we’re sure you’ll be a great parent. If you’re reading this, you’re already on the right track! You’ve got a lot on your plate right now, so we’re here to help make this as easy as possible for you.
You should be caring for your baby’s oral health from the very beginning, even though they don’t have any teeth yet! You should use a warm, wet washcloth to gently wipe your baby’s gums and the inside of their mouth after feedings. This will minimize plaque and acid buildup for a healthier oral environment when their teeth do start to come in.
Your baby’s first tooth should emerge usually around 12 months or one year, and the rest will follow suit. Every baby is different, and teething can continue until around three years. You should bring them in to see us when their first tooth pops up so we can give them a thorough exam to make sure everything is developing properly. This ensures we catch any potential problems before they become more serious.
You should start using a baby-sized, soft-bristled toothbrush as soon as their first tooth comes in, and begin to floss as soon as their teeth start to touch. Just use water for now, as they aren’t able to spit the toothpaste out just yet.
You can start using a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste as soon as kids are able to spit the toothpaste out on their own, usually around age three. You should continue to brush and floss for them, as they don’t yet have the motor skills to do so effectively themselves.
Little ones should be able to start brushing and flossing on their own around the age they learn to tie their own shoes—around age six. While they can start to take the reins themselves around this time, you should continue supervising their daily oral hygiene routines until you feel confident to leave them up to their own devices. Today they’re brushing their own teeth, what’s next? Dating!? They grow up so fast—all the more reason to cherish and make the most of these early years while you can.
While it is largely up to you to establish routines and keep up with your little one’s oral health, we want you to know you have our entire team on your side. We offer many dental services for tiny teeth to make sure we get them started on the right foot. Kids need regular dental care, just like adults, so you should bring them twice yearly for cleanings and exams to ensure we catch any small problems before they progress.
Our compassionate, patient team makes sure kids are completely comfortable in the chair before getting started. Our hygiene team regularly provides tear- and fear-free cleanings for our littlest patients to take care of any plaque or tartar that’s been left behind. If we do notice a cavity or any other problems, don’t worry–it’s not the end of the world, and we’ll take care of it! Tooth-coloured fillings stop decay in its tracks and strengthen the tooth back to health. If decay is a problem for your kiddo, or you’d just rather be safe than sorry, we also offer plenty of preventive measures including fluoride and sealants to protect their little smiles.
If you have any questions about pediatric dentistry, we would love to speak with you. Contact your Vernon dentists, Dr. Bicknell, Dr. Montian, Dr. Diamond or Dr. Hackman, at Pleasant Valley Dental today!
Dr. Bicknell and Dr. Montian are general dentists providing pediatric dentistry services.