Last week I talked about Family Dentistry and how we provide our patients with a risk assessment to manage their dental care for lifelong dental health.

Today I would like to get a little bit more specific and start at the beginning: Early Childhood Dental Care.

We are often asked by our patients, “When should I bring my children in for their first dental appointment?”

My answer to that question is this: Bring your child with you to a cleaning so that they can watch when they around two and a half years of age. By watching you being confident and comfortable in the dental chair, your child will associate a visit to the dentist as a relaxed and enjoyable experience. We will also take the time to have your child sit in the chair, introduce a mirror in their mouth, give them a hug and a toothbrush, and reinforce the positive nature of a visit to the dentist.

At age three, we usually start real dental care. This means introducing your child to having their teeth polished, examined and includes a lesson on how to brush their teeth. During the exam, I can often advise parents about their child’s future orthodontic needs. Yes, we can tell as early as age 3! It is during this time that we are also able to alert the parents if we see evidence of tooth decay that may warrant a change in the child’s home care (brushing and flossing) or a possible change in their diet.

Practicing in the North York area, our water is fluoridated, which mean strong healthy teeth for our patients, as fluoride offers a strong protection against tooth decay. However, being in a growing area like North York also means that a large part of our population is newcomers who may not have had access to fluoride as their children’s’ teeth were developing. Should this be the case, additional care may be needed to help reduce the incidence of decay.

The essential nature of early dental care cannot be over-exaggerated. Baby teeth are the guides for the permanent teeth. Failure to maintain the health of baby teeth can result in pain, infection and the development of poor bites.

With this information in mind, we look forward to seeing your children while still toddlers. You can even Come See Us for a Full Family Dental Consultation.

Stay tuned for more information on Family Dentistry!