Teeth: Dental care for childrenTTeeth: Dental care for childrenTeeth: Dental care for childrenEnglishDentalChild (0-12 years);Teen (13-18 years)TeethMouthNon-drug treatmentCaregivers Adult (19+)NA2014-02-20T05:00:00ZMichael J. Casas, DDS, MSc, FRCD(C);Sonia Chung, DDS, MSc, FRCD(C);Edward Barrett,DDS, MSc, FRCD(C)​6.0000000000000076.00000000000002315.00000000000Health (A-Z) - ProcedureHealth A-Z<p>Learn how to take care of your child's teeth and gums to prevent tooth decay.</p><p>Your child’s first teeth are called primary teeth. Most of them, if not all, will be replaced by permanent teeth by the time your child reaches age 12. However, it is still important to keep your child’s baby teeth clean. Your child needs these teeth for proper eating, speaking and growth.</p><p>Dental care starts even before your <a href="/Article?contentid=304&language=English">baby’s first tooth grows in</a>. Use the following dental care advice to protect your baby’s first set of teeth and help their future permanent teeth stay healthy.</p> <br><h2>Key points</h2> <ul> <li>Tooth decay happens when bacteria on the teeth produce acid while breaking down food and drink. This acid is normal, but it can damage tooth enamel if it is not washed away regularly.</li> <li>Start cleaning your child's teeth early. Wipe with a damp cloth after every feeding, starting when your child is around three months old. When the first tooth appears, you can start using a baby toothbrush.</li> <li>To prevent early childhood caries, do not let your child fall asleep on the breast or with a bottle of juice, milk or other sweetened liquid in their mouth. Other ways to reduce cavities include limiting eating to snacks and mealtimes and keeping juice and other sugary drinks to a minimum.</li> <li>Brush your child's teeth at least twice a day and preferably after every meal. Brushing before bedtime is very important.</li> <li>If your child is not at risk of tooth decay, start using a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste when they turn three. Until they are age six, supervise them while they are brushing and make sure they spit out the toothpaste.</li> <li>Flossing is important. You can start flossing your child's teeth from around age three.</li> <li>Take your child to their first dentist appointment within six months of the eruption of their first tooth or by 12 months of age. Try to have a positive attitude when taking your child to the dentist.</li> </ul><h2>When to see a doctor or dentist</h2> <p>Make an appointment with your child’s dentist if your child has:</p> <ul> <li>bouts of throbbing pain</li> <li>sharp pain triggered by chewing hot or cold foods</li> <li>pain triggered by meals, especially sweet foods.</li> </ul> <p>If your child has a cavity and it is not treated, severe pain and infection can occur. This infection can spread to your child’s face or other areas of their body, making them very sick. A serious infection can also damage the permanent teeth that are developing in the bone just below the baby teeth.</p> <p>Call a doctor or dentist <em>right away</em> if your child has:</p> <ul> <li>intense and continuous pain in the mouth</li> <li>fever</li> <li>swelling of the face.</li> </ul><h2>How to keep your child’s gums and teeth clean</h2><p>Good dental care is based on regular brushing and flossing. Some families have a particularly strong strain of mouth bacteria or higher levels of bacteria that can lead to more tooth decay. If tooth decay is a problem in your family, be extra careful when cleaning your child’s teeth.</p><h3>When to start cleaning your child’s teeth and gums</h3><ul><li>Wipe a newborn baby’s gums with a soft, clean, damp cloth after feeding.</li><li>At age three months, begin cleaning your child’s mouth after every feeding. Lay your baby in a comfortable place and gently wipe their gums with a clean, damp washcloth.</li><li>As soon as your child’s teeth poke through the gums, you and your child should clean them with a toothbrush to keep them strong and healthy.</li><li>If your child is under three years old, you will need to brush their teeth. Your child might find it fun to brush their own teeth and will be able to start. However, you should complete their toothbrushing until they are able to tie their own shoelaces or cut food with a knife and fork on their own.</li><li>If your child is aged between three and six, they can usually brush their own teeth with your help and supervision.</li></ul><p>By the time your child is three years old, teach them "2 for 2". This means brushing twice a day for two minutes each time, while you supervise them.</p><p>Download a poster that summarizes when you should start <a href="https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/akhassets/PDF_Dental_care_brush_every_night.pdf">cleaning your child's teeth and gums</a>.</p><h2>Brushing your child's teeth</h2><ul><li>Use a small toothbrush with soft rounded bristles. Hold the toothbrush so that the bristles are angled to where the gums meet the teeth.</li><li>Use gentle circles to brush the teeth. Scrubbing or brushing too hard will hurt your child’s gums.</li><li>Cavities can form on the front, back and top of teeth, so clean every surface of every tooth.</li><li>If you are supervising your child, remind them to gently brush the front, back and top of their teeth in a circular motion and point the toothbrush to where the gums meet the teeth.</li></ul><h3>How often to brush your child’s teeth</h3><ul><li>All children should have their teeth brushed at least twice a day.</li><li>The best times to brush your child’s teeth are first thing in the morning after breakfast and right before bed. Brushing before bed is very important because your child produces less saliva (spit) at night to help keep their mouth clean.</li><li>Brush your child's teeth after every meal or snack. If you cannot do this, give your child a glass of water to wash away the sugars.</li></ul><h3>Using the right toothbrush</h3><ul><li>Use a toothbrush that is the right size for your child’s mouth. The bristles should be soft and rounded. You can start using a soft baby-size toothbrush as soon as your child’s first tooth appears.</li><li>Buy a new toothbrush at least every three or four months. A toothbrush with bent or worn bristles will do a poor job and may hurt your child’s gums.</li><li>It is safe for a child to use an electric toothbrush. In fact, children often enjoy using one. Ask your dentist about the types of electric toothbrush you can buy for your child.</li></ul><h3>Using the right amount of toothpaste</h3><p>Fluoride is a mineral found in the soil, water and food. It is added to most brands of toothpaste and to the drinking water of many communities. When used in small amounts, it helps build strong teeth and prevents cavities from forming. Check with your town or city council to find out if your water has added fluoride.</p><ul><li>If your child is under three and not at risk of tooth decay, you can clean their teeth with a toothbrush moistened with water. If they are at risk of tooth decay, use only a tiny amount of fluoride toothpaste (less than the size of a grain of rice). Ask your doctor or other health professional if your child is at risk.</li><li>Between the ages of three and six, your child can use a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste.</li><li>Supervise your child while they are brushing their teeth and make sure they spit out the toothpaste when they are finished. Using or swallowing too much fluoride toothpaste can cause white specks to form on your child’s permanent teeth (dental fluorosis).</li></ul><p>If your community does not add fluoride to the drinking water or if you get your water from a well system, tell your child's dentist. The dentist may recommend fluoride supplements to help prevent cavities from forming.<br></p><h2>Flossing your child's teeth</h2><p>Get your child to start flossing early. In most cases, it is a good idea to start when your child's back teeth touch each other. This usually occurs around age three. Flossing is important because a toothbrush cannot clean between teeth.</p><h3>How to floss your child’s teeth</h3><ol><li>Take a piece of floss about as long as your child's arm.</li><li>Wrap it around your middle fingers, leaving a two inch gap between your hands.</li><li>With your index fingers, slide the floss between the teeth and wrap it into a ‘C’ shape.</li><li>Wipe the tooth from the gum to the tip at least two or three times.</li><li>Use a new part of the floss for each tooth.</li></ol><p>Floss both sides of each tooth and remember the backs of the last molars.</p><p>Your child will need help with flossing for a while. By the age of 10 or 11, they will be able to floss on their own.</p><div class="asset-video"><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/NgnNHtbIwlY?rel=0" frameborder="0"></iframe> </div>
Dentition: Hygiène dentaire chez les enfantsDDentition: Hygiène dentaire chez les enfantsTeeth: Dental care for childrenFrenchDentalChild (0-12 years);Teen (13-18 years)TeethMouthNon-drug treatmentCaregivers Adult (19+)NA2014-02-20T05:00:00ZMichael J. Casas, DDS, MSc, FRCD(C);Sonia Chung, DDS, MSc, FRCD(C);Edward Barrett,DDS, MSc, FRCD(C)​6.0000000000000076.00000000000002315.00000000000Health (A-Z) - ProcedureHealth A-Z<p>​Apprenez comment prendre soin des dents et des gencives de votre enfant pour prévenir la carie dentaire.</p><p>Les premières dents de votre enfant sont ses dents temporaires ou dents de lait. La majeure partie, voire la totalité, de cette <a href="/Article?contentid=304&language=French">dentition</a> temporaire aura été remplacée par une dentition permanente dès que votre enfant aura atteint l’âge de 12 ans. Toutefois, l’hygiène des dents temporaires de votre enfant est tout de même importante. Votre enfant a besoin de ces dents pour mastiquer, parler et croître normalement.</p><p>L’hygiène dentaire doit commencer avant même l’apparition des dents temporaires. Suivez les conseils ci-après afin de protéger les dents temporaires de votre enfant et vous assurer que ses dents permanentes restent saines.</p> <br><h2>À retenir</h2> <ul> <li>La carie dentaire survient quand les bactéries sur les dents produisent un acide durant la décomposition des aliments et des boissons. La formation de l’acide est normale. Toutefois, si cette substance n’est pas éliminée régulièrement à l’aide d’un bon nettoyage, elle peut endommager l’émail des dents.</li> <li>Commencez à assurer l’hygiène buccale de votre enfant quand il est tout petit. Lorsqu’il aura atteint l’âge de trois mois environ, essuyez-lui les gencives à l’aide d’un linge propre et humide après chaque tétée ou biberon. Quand sa première dent apparaîtra, vous pourrez commencer à vous servir d’une brosse à dents pour bébés.</li> <li>Pour prévenir les caries de la petite enfance, ne laissez pas votre enfant s’endormir pendant les tétées ou avec un biberon de jus de fruit, de lait ou d’un autre liquide sucré dans la bouche. D’autres moyens de réduire les risques de caries dentaires est de ne permettre à votre enfant de manger qu’à l’heure des repas et des collations et de réduire au minimum sa consommation de jus de fruit et d’autres boissons sucrées.</li> <li>Brossez les dents de votre enfant au moins deux fois par jour. De préférence, faites-le après chaque repas. Le brossage des dents avant le coucher est très important.</li> <li>Si votre enfant n’est pas à risque de caries dentaires, commencez à utiliser une quantité de dentifrice au fluorure de la grosseur d’un pois vert pour lui brosser les dents quand il aura atteint l’âge de trois ans. Jusqu’à l’âge de six ans, surveillez votre enfant pendant qu’il se brosse les dents et assurez-vous qu’il crache le dentifrice quand il a terminé.</li> <li>L’utilisation de la soie dentaire est importante. Vous pouvez commencer à en faire usage chez votre enfant vers l’âge de trois ans.</li> <li>Amenez votre enfant à son premier rendez-vous chez le dentiste dans les six mois suivant l’apparition de sa première dent ou, au plus tard, à l’âge d’un an. Essayez d’avoir une attitude positive quand vous amenez votre enfant chez le dentiste. </li> </ul><h2>Quand consulter un médecin ou un dentiste​</h2> <p>Prenez un rendez-vous avec le dentiste de votre enfant si ce dernier présente :</p> <ul> <li>des douleurs lancinantes,</li> <li>des douleurs aiguës lorsqu’il mastique des aliments chauds ou froids,</li> <li>des douleurs enclenchées durant les repas, particulièrement lors de la consommation d’aliments sucrés.</li> </ul> <p>Si votre enfant présente une carie qui n’est pas traitée, celle-ci pourrait causer de fortes douleurs et une infection. L’infection pourrait s’étendre à son visage ou à d’autres parties de son organisme et le rendre très malade. Une infection grave risque aussi d’endommager ses dents permanentes qui se forment dans l’os juste au-dessous des dents temporaires.</p> <p>Communiquez immédiatement avec un médecin ou un dentiste si votre enfant présente :</p> <ul> <li>des douleurs intenses continues dans la bouche,</li> <li>une fièvre,</li> <li>une enflure au visage.</li> </ul><h2>Comment assurer une bonne hygiène des gencives et des dents de votre enfant</h2><p>Une bonne hygiène dentaire exige de se brosser les dents et d’utiliser de la soie dentaire régulièrement. Certaines familles présentent une souche de bactéries buccales particulièrement résistantes ou des taux plus élevés de bactéries, d’où le risque de caries dentaires plus nombreuses. Si les caries dentaires sont fréquentes dans votre famille, soyez très vigilant quand vous nettoyez les dents de votre enfant.</p><h3>Quand commencer à nettoyer les dents et les gencives de votre enfant</h3><ul><li>Pour nettoyer la bouche de votre nourrisson après la tétée ou le biberon, essuyez-lui délicatement les gencives à l’aide d’un linge doux, propre et humide.</li><li>Quand votre enfant atteindra l’âge de trois mois, commencez à lui nettoyer la bouche chaque fois qu’il termine de boire. Pour ce faire, allongez votre bébé dans un endroit confortable et essuyez-lui doucement les gencives à l’aide d’une débarbouillette propre humide.</li><li>Vous et votre enfant devriez commencer à brosser ses dents dès qu’elles percent ses gencives pour qu’elles restent solides et saines.</li><li>Si votre enfant a moins de trois ans, vous devrez lui brosser les dents. Votre enfant pourrait trouver que le brossage de dents est amusant et commencer à apprendre à le faire seul. Toutefois, vous devrez vous-même bien terminer le brossage jusqu’à ce qu’il soit en mesure d’attacher les lacets de ses chaussures ou de couper ses aliments seul en se servant d’un couteau et d’une fourchette.</li><li>Entre l’âge de trois et six ans, votre enfant devrait être en mesure de se brosser les dents lui-même avec votre aide et sous votre surveillance.</li></ul><p>​Lorsque votre enfant atteindra l’âge de trois ans, apprenez-lui la formule « 2 par 2 ». Cela veut dire qu’il doit se brosser les dents deux fois par jour durant deux minutes pendant que vous le surveillez.</p><h2>Comment brosser les dents de votre enfant</h2><ul><li>Utilisez une petite brosse à dents à poils souples et arrondis. Tenez la brosse à dents pour que les brins s’appuient sur la jonction des gencives et des dents.</li><li>Brossez doucement les dents en décrivant des cercles. Le fait de brosser trop fortement peut faire mal aux gencives de votre enfant.</li><li>Puisque les caries peuvent se former à l’avant, à l’arrière et au sommet des dents, assurez-vous de brosser toutes les surfaces de chacune d’elles.</li><li>Si vous surveillez votre enfant pendant qu’il se brosse lui-même les dents, rappelez-lui de brosser doucement l’avant, l’arrière et le sommet de ses dents en décrivant des cercles et de placer la brosse à la jonction des gencives et des dents.</li></ul><h3>À quelle fréquence devez-vous brosser les dents de votre enfant</h3><ul><li>Les dents de tous les enfants devraient être brossées au moins deux fois par jour.</li><li>Les meilleurs moments pour brosser les dents de votre enfant sont après le repas du matin et juste avant le coucher. Le brossage de dents avant le coucher est très important car, durant la nuit, votre enfant produit moins de salive qui aide à maintenir les dents propres.</li><li>Brossez les dents de votre enfant après chaque repas ou collation. Si vous ne pouvez pas le faire à cette fréquence, donnez un verre d’eau à votre enfant pour éliminer les sucres de sa bouche.</li></ul><h3>Utilisation d’une brosse à dents appropriée</h3><ul><li>Utilisez une brosse à dents adaptée à la taille de la bouche de votre enfant. Les poils de la brosse à dents doivent être souples et arrondis.</li><li>Vous pouvez commencer à vous servir d’une brosse à dents souple pour bébé dès que la première dent de votre enfant apparaît.</li><li>Achetez une brosse à dents neuve au moins tous les trois ou quatre mois. Une brosse dont les poils sont courbés et usés ne permet pas de bien nettoyer les dents et peut faire mal aux gencives.</li><li>Un enfant peut se servir sans danger d’une brosse à dents électrique. De fait, de nombreux enfants aiment l’utiliser. Demandez à votre dentiste quels types de brosse à dents électrique conviendraient à votre enfant.</li></ul><h3>Utilisation de la bonne quantité de dentifrice</h3><p>Le fluorure est un minéral présent dans le sol, l'eau et les aliments. Il est ajouté à la plupart des marques de dentifrice et à l’eau potable de nombreuses agglomérations. Utilisé en petites quantités, le fluorure favorise le renforcement des dents et prévient la carie dentaire. Renseignez-vous auprès de votre conseil municipal pour savoir si votre eau potable est fluorée.</p><ul><li>Si votre enfant est âgé de moins de trois ans et qu’il n’est pas à risque de caries dentaires, vous pouvez nettoyer ses dents à l’aide d’une brosse à dents mouillée avec de l’eau. S’il est à risque, n’utilisez qu’une minuscule quantité (plus petite qu’un grain de riz) de dentifrice au fluorure (aussi appelé dentifrice fluoré). Demandez à votre médecin ou à un autre professionnel de la santé si votre enfant est à risque.</li><li>Entre les âges de trois et six ans, votre enfant pourra se servir d’une quantité de dentifrice au fluorure de la grosseur d’un pois vert.</li><li>Surveillez votre enfant pendant qu’il se brosse les dents et assurez-vous qu’il crache le dentifrice quand il a terminé. Le fait d’utiliser ou d’avaler une trop grande quantité de dentifrice au fluorure peut causer la formation de taches blanches sur les dents permanentes de votre enfant (fluorose dentaire).</li><li>Si on n’ajoute pas de fluorure à l’eau potable dans votre agglomération ou si vous vous approvisionnez en eau à l’aide d’un réseau de puits, dites-le au dentiste de votre enfant. Le dentiste pourrait alors recommander l’usage de suppléments de fluorure afin de prévenir les caries.</li></ul><h2>Utilisation de la soie dentaire chez votre enfant</h2><p>Assurez-vous que votre enfant commence à utiliser la soie dentaire dès la petite enfance. Il est généralement préférable de commencer l’usage de la soie dentaire quand les dents à l’arrière de la bouche se touchent les unes les autres, c’est-à-dire vers l’âge de trois ans. L’usage de la soie dentaire est important, car une brosse à dents ne permet pas de nettoyer entre les dents.</p><h3>​Comment passer la soie dentaire entre les dents de votre enfant</h3><ol><li>Prenez une longueur de soie dentaire à peu près équivalente à celle du bras de votre enfant.</li><li>Enveloppez-la autour de vos deux majeurs (doigts du milieu) en laissant une distance d’environ deux pouces entre vos mains.</li><li>À l’aide de vos index, glissez la soie entre les dents et formez un « C ».</li><li>Frottez la dent avec la soie en la déplaçant de bas en haut (de la gencive vers le sommet de la dent) à deux ou trois reprises au moins.</li><li>Utilisez une section neuve de la soie dentaire pour chaque dent.</li></ol><p>Passez la soie dentaire des deux côtés de chaque dent, sans oublier l’arrière des dernières molaires. Vous devrez aider votre enfant à se servir de la soie dentaire pendant un certain temps. À l’âge de 10 ou 11 ans, il pourra le faire seul.<br></p><div class="asset-video"><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/NgnNHtbIwlY?rel=0&hl=fr&cc_load_policy=1" frameborder="0"></iframe> </div>

 

 

Teeth: Dental care for children1994.00000000000Teeth: Dental care for childrenTeeth: Dental care for childrenTEnglishDentalChild (0-12 years);Teen (13-18 years)TeethMouthNon-drug treatmentCaregivers Adult (19+)NA2014-02-20T05:00:00ZMichael J. Casas, DDS, MSc, FRCD(C);Sonia Chung, DDS, MSc, FRCD(C);Edward Barrett,DDS, MSc, FRCD(C)​6.0000000000000076.00000000000002315.00000000000Health (A-Z) - ProcedureHealth A-Z<p>Learn how to take care of your child's teeth and gums to prevent tooth decay.</p><p>Your child’s first teeth are called primary teeth. Most of them, if not all, will be replaced by permanent teeth by the time your child reaches age 12. However, it is still important to keep your child’s baby teeth clean. Your child needs these teeth for proper eating, speaking and growth.</p><p>Dental care starts even before your <a href="/Article?contentid=304&language=English">baby’s first tooth grows in</a>. Use the following dental care advice to protect your baby’s first set of teeth and help their future permanent teeth stay healthy.</p> <br><h2>Why is dental care important?</h2><p>Dental care from an early age is important for preventing tooth decay. Often, the first sign of tooth decay is a toothache, which can cause a lot of pain in or around your child’s tooth.</p><h2>What causes tooth decay?</h2><p>A slimy substance called plaque constantly forms on the enamel that covers the teeth. The plaque contains bacteria, which break down the food and drink we eat every day and produce acid. This acid is entirely normal and healthy, but it must be washed away regularly with proper cleaning of the teeth and gums. If the acid stays too long in the mouth, it starts to eat away at the enamel, the hard shell of the tooth. This causes tooth decay.</p> <figure class="asset-c-100"><img src="https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/akhassets/IMD_tooth_decay_EN.png" alt="" /><figcaption class="asset-image-caption">Tooth decay happens when the acid produced by bacteria in plaque is allowed to remain around the teeth and gums. If the acid is not washed away regularly, it eats away at the tooth enamel, causing cavities.</figcaption> </figure> <p>Children are most at risk for tooth decay when they fall asleep at night while <a href="/Article?contentid=440&language=English">breastfeeding</a> or with a bottle of formula, juice or milk in their mouth. This can lead to early childhood caries (ECC), also known as nursing bottle syndrome. This is a serious form of tooth decay in babies and young children. It occurs when the acid that breaks down this food has all night to eat away at the tooth enamel.</p><h3>Signs of tooth decay</h3><p>The signs and symptoms of tooth decay may include:</p><ul><li>a change in tooth colour<br></li><li>continuous, <a href="/pain">intense pain</a></li><li>bouts of throbbing pain</li><li>sharp pain lasting minutes (triggered by chewing or by hot or cold food)</li><li>occasional pain</li><li>sore or bleeding gums</li><li> <a href="/Article?contentid=30&language=English">fever</a></li><li>a white or red swelling inside the mouth, near the painful tooth.</li></ul><h2>Key points</h2> <ul> <li>Tooth decay happens when bacteria on the teeth produce acid while breaking down food and drink. This acid is normal, but it can damage tooth enamel if it is not washed away regularly.</li> <li>Start cleaning your child's teeth early. Wipe with a damp cloth after every feeding, starting when your child is around three months old. When the first tooth appears, you can start using a baby toothbrush.</li> <li>To prevent early childhood caries, do not let your child fall asleep on the breast or with a bottle of juice, milk or other sweetened liquid in their mouth. Other ways to reduce cavities include limiting eating to snacks and mealtimes and keeping juice and other sugary drinks to a minimum.</li> <li>Brush your child's teeth at least twice a day and preferably after every meal. Brushing before bedtime is very important.</li> <li>If your child is not at risk of tooth decay, start using a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste when they turn three. Until they are age six, supervise them while they are brushing and make sure they spit out the toothpaste.</li> <li>Flossing is important. You can start flossing your child's teeth from around age three.</li> <li>Take your child to their first dentist appointment within six months of the eruption of their first tooth or by 12 months of age. Try to have a positive attitude when taking your child to the dentist.</li> </ul><h2>How you can help your child with a toothache</h2><p>If your child is complaining of pain in their mouth, you can help ease the pain before you see a dentist or doctor.</p><p>You can either use:</p><ul><li>liquid <a href="/Article?contentid=62&language=English">acetaminophen</a></li><li> <a href="/Article?contentid=153&language=English">ibuprofen</a></li></ul><p> <strong>Never</strong> give your child <a href="/Article?contentid=77&language=English">ASA (acetylsalicylic acid)</a>.</p><h2>When to see a doctor or dentist</h2> <p>Make an appointment with your child’s dentist if your child has:</p> <ul> <li>bouts of throbbing pain</li> <li>sharp pain triggered by chewing hot or cold foods</li> <li>pain triggered by meals, especially sweet foods.</li> </ul> <p>If your child has a cavity and it is not treated, severe pain and infection can occur. This infection can spread to your child’s face or other areas of their body, making them very sick. A serious infection can also damage the permanent teeth that are developing in the bone just below the baby teeth.</p> <p>Call a doctor or dentist <em>right away</em> if your child has:</p> <ul> <li>intense and continuous pain in the mouth</li> <li>fever</li> <li>swelling of the face.</li> </ul><h2>How to keep your child’s gums and teeth clean</h2><p>Good dental care is based on regular brushing and flossing. Some families have a particularly strong strain of mouth bacteria or higher levels of bacteria that can lead to more tooth decay. If tooth decay is a problem in your family, be extra careful when cleaning your child’s teeth.</p><h3>When to start cleaning your child’s teeth and gums</h3><ul><li>Wipe a newborn baby’s gums with a soft, clean, damp cloth after feeding.</li><li>At age three months, begin cleaning your child’s mouth after every feeding. Lay your baby in a comfortable place and gently wipe their gums with a clean, damp washcloth.</li><li>As soon as your child’s teeth poke through the gums, you and your child should clean them with a toothbrush to keep them strong and healthy.</li><li>If your child is under three years old, you will need to brush their teeth. Your child might find it fun to brush their own teeth and will be able to start. However, you should complete their toothbrushing until they are able to tie their own shoelaces or cut food with a knife and fork on their own.</li><li>If your child is aged between three and six, they can usually brush their own teeth with your help and supervision.</li></ul><p>By the time your child is three years old, teach them "2 for 2". This means brushing twice a day for two minutes each time, while you supervise them.</p><p>Download a poster that summarizes when you should start <a href="https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/akhassets/PDF_Dental_care_brush_every_night.pdf">cleaning your child's teeth and gums</a>.</p><h2>Brushing your child's teeth</h2><ul><li>Use a small toothbrush with soft rounded bristles. Hold the toothbrush so that the bristles are angled to where the gums meet the teeth.</li><li>Use gentle circles to brush the teeth. Scrubbing or brushing too hard will hurt your child’s gums.</li><li>Cavities can form on the front, back and top of teeth, so clean every surface of every tooth.</li><li>If you are supervising your child, remind them to gently brush the front, back and top of their teeth in a circular motion and point the toothbrush to where the gums meet the teeth.</li></ul><h3>How often to brush your child’s teeth</h3><ul><li>All children should have their teeth brushed at least twice a day.</li><li>The best times to brush your child’s teeth are first thing in the morning after breakfast and right before bed. Brushing before bed is very important because your child produces less saliva (spit) at night to help keep their mouth clean.</li><li>Brush your child's teeth after every meal or snack. If you cannot do this, give your child a glass of water to wash away the sugars.</li></ul><h3>Using the right toothbrush</h3><ul><li>Use a toothbrush that is the right size for your child’s mouth. The bristles should be soft and rounded. You can start using a soft baby-size toothbrush as soon as your child’s first tooth appears.</li><li>Buy a new toothbrush at least every three or four months. A toothbrush with bent or worn bristles will do a poor job and may hurt your child’s gums.</li><li>It is safe for a child to use an electric toothbrush. In fact, children often enjoy using one. Ask your dentist about the types of electric toothbrush you can buy for your child.</li></ul><h3>Using the right amount of toothpaste</h3><p>Fluoride is a mineral found in the soil, water and food. It is added to most brands of toothpaste and to the drinking water of many communities. When used in small amounts, it helps build strong teeth and prevents cavities from forming. Check with your town or city council to find out if your water has added fluoride.</p><ul><li>If your child is under three and not at risk of tooth decay, you can clean their teeth with a toothbrush moistened with water. If they are at risk of tooth decay, use only a tiny amount of fluoride toothpaste (less than the size of a grain of rice). Ask your doctor or other health professional if your child is at risk.</li><li>Between the ages of three and six, your child can use a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste.</li><li>Supervise your child while they are brushing their teeth and make sure they spit out the toothpaste when they are finished. Using or swallowing too much fluoride toothpaste can cause white specks to form on your child’s permanent teeth (dental fluorosis).</li></ul><p>If your community does not add fluoride to the drinking water or if you get your water from a well system, tell your child's dentist. The dentist may recommend fluoride supplements to help prevent cavities from forming.<br></p><h2>Flossing your child's teeth</h2><p>Get your child to start flossing early. In most cases, it is a good idea to start when your child's back teeth touch each other. This usually occurs around age three. Flossing is important because a toothbrush cannot clean between teeth.</p><h3>How to floss your child’s teeth</h3><ol><li>Take a piece of floss about as long as your child's arm.</li><li>Wrap it around your middle fingers, leaving a two inch gap between your hands.</li><li>With your index fingers, slide the floss between the teeth and wrap it into a ‘C’ shape.</li><li>Wipe the tooth from the gum to the tip at least two or three times.</li><li>Use a new part of the floss for each tooth.</li></ol><p>Floss both sides of each tooth and remember the backs of the last molars.</p><p>Your child will need help with flossing for a while. By the age of 10 or 11, they will be able to floss on their own.</p><div class="asset-video"><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/NgnNHtbIwlY?rel=0" frameborder="0"></iframe> </div><h2>Other ways to prevent tooth decay</h2><h3>Prevent early childhood caries</h3><p>Do not let your child fall asleep:</p><ul><li>on the breast while breastfeeding</li><li>while sucking a bottle of formula, milk, juice or any other liquid besides plain, unsweetened water</li><li>while using a sippy, spout or straw cup</li></ul><p>Clean your baby's teeth after you breast or bottle feed them. If your baby tends to fall asleep after the last breast or bottle feeding, gently clean their teeth and gums just before the last feeding.</p><ul><li>Do not let your child walk around with a training cup or bottle full of sweetened water, juice or milk.</li><li>Do not dip a pacifier in honey or any other sweetener. Give your child a plain pacifier instead.</li></ul><p>Download a poster that summarizes why it is important only to <a target="_blank" href="https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/akhassets/PDF_Dental_care_water_between_meals.pdf">offer your child water to drink between meals</a>.</p><h3>Do not let liquid pool in your child’s mouth</h3><p>Acid-producing bacteria break down simple sugars such as table sugar, lactose (in milk) and fructose (in fruit). Liquids that pool in your child's mouth for hours can coat the teeth in sugars that will promote tooth decay.</p><p>By the time your child is aged 12 to 15 months, they should use a regular cup for all drinks. This not only reduces the risk of tooth decay but also helps them with feeding and co-ordination.</p><p>Download a poster that summarizes <a target="_blank" href="https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/akhassets/PDF_Dental_care_start_a_cup.pdf">when your child should start using a sippy cup and a regular cup, and when they should be fully weaned from a bottle</a>.</p><h3>Have a healthy diet</h3><p>Introduce a balanced diet of healthy foods as soon as your child starts <a href="/article?contentid=497&language=English">eating solids</a>. This will help your child develop a taste for healthy eating early on and set the stage for good eating habits in the long run.</p><p>Snacking throughout the day may cause tooth decay because the teeth are constantly covered in sugars. Make sure you feed your child healthy snacks and only give sweets as a treat.</p><p>Allow your child to eat only at set meal and snack times. After they eat, brush your child's teeth or have them wash down the food with water. This is especially important if they have eaten sticky treats, such as raisins or chewy candies.</p><h3>Brush teeth after medicines</h3><p>Some liquid medicines have high sugar content. Clean your child's teeth after a dose of medicine the same way you would after a snack.</p><h3>Decrease juices</h3><p>Even 100% juice can coat your child’s teeth in enamel-damaging sugar. The taste of juice can lead to cravings for sweet food and drinks that can last a lifetime. Juice may also fill your child’s stomach and prevent them from drinking milk, which has more nutrients. For all these reasons, keep juice and other sugary drinks to a minimum.</p><h2>Visiting the dentist</h2><p>According to the Canadian Dental Association, your child should first visit the dentist within six months of their first tooth emerging or by the time they are 12 months old, whichever comes first. Starting early will get your child used to visiting the dentist. If your family dentist does not treat children, find a pediatric dentist in your area.</p><p>After your child's first visit, the dentist will tell you when your child needs to return. Your child should see a dentist regularly (normally every six months).</p><p>If you do not like going to the dentist, there is a strong possibility your child will copy your behaviour and attitude. Have a positive attitude when taking your child to the dentist and tell your child what happens there. Before each visit, try reading your child a fun book or two about going to the dentist.</p>https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/AKHAssets/teeth_dental_care_for_children.jpgdentalcareTeeth: Dental care for children

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