Important information about your child’s oral health
Your baby's first teeth will be the two lower front teeth and you will notice them when your child is between six to eight months old. The four upper front teeth will then follow and the rest will appear periodically in pairs along the sides of the jaw until your child is about 2 years and a half.
Between the age of 2 and 3, your child should have all 20 teeth and it is only around the age of 5 or 6 that the first permanent teeth will start coming out. Some of the permanent teeth will replace the baby's teeth, but not all and don't worry if some teeth are a few months early or late, all children are different.
The first "real" visit to the dentist
The first "real" dental visit to your dentist is usually recommended around your child's first birthday or six months after the first one. This visit is usually very brief. Dr. Al Eid may ask you to sit in the dental chair and hold your child during the examination or simply hold their hands to reassure them.
Dr. Al Eid will gently examine your child's teeth and x-rays will be taken to reveal possible cavities not visible to the naked eye and to check the progress of permanent teeth under the gums. He will then carefully clean your child's teeth and apply fluoride to help protect your child's teeth from cavities. Before you leave we will take the time to discuss cleaning and hygiene at home and give you a few good tricks that will help with the daily dental routine.
Here are some tips for a successful "First visit":
- Take your child on a visit to "discover" our dental office
- Read books that help discover the visit to the dentist
- Review with them what the dentist will do on their first visit
- Talk positively about your own dental experiences
During your first visit to the Bellerive Clinic we will:
- Examine your child's mouth
- Inspect teeth and gums
- Evaluate bad habits such as thumb sucking
- Check to see if your child needs special care
- Teach you how to best clean their teeth and gums
- Suggest a schedule for regular dental visits that will follow
Tips for preventing cavities in your child:
- Limit the frequency of meals and snacks
- Encourage brushing, flossing and rinsing
- Look what your child is drinking
- Avoid giving your child sticky foods
- Eliminate candy from meals
- Choose nutritious snacks
Sealant as a preventive treatment
One of the best ways to keep your child safe from cavities is to apply a sealant to his or her back teeth or molars. A sealant is a coating that is brushed on the chewing surfaces of the posterior teeth, the area where there are many grooves and cracks (also called pits and cracks) in which food can get stuck and where most cavities form. The sealant covers the grooves and cracks in the teeth so there is no way for food to enter.
Sealing is a quick and painless procedure that can be performed during a routine visit to the dentist. No injection is necessary but it will be very important that your child remains motionless during the treatment so the teeth on which Dr. Al Eid is working remain dry. The sealant is applied in liquid form and hardens quickly in 20 to 60 seconds using a special light.
At the Bellerive Clinic we recommend that sealants be applied to each permanent molar as soon as possible however your child must be able to cooperate and remain seated without moving during treatment. Sealants should also be applied to the second molars when your child is about 12 years old. If your child is at high risk of cavities, Dr. Al Eid may suggest that you also seal the premolars as this treatment has proven beneficial in some children.
Do you have any questions? Do you want more information to better plan your little one's first visit? Contact a member of our team at 514-355-7635. It will be our pleasure to speak with you.