©2019 by SGH Dental Office.

Scarborough General Hospital
3030 Lawrence Ave East, Suite 104
Scarborough, Toronto, ON

M1P 2T7

Kids & Teeth

When should children first see Dr. Ing?

Dr. Ing will see children starting at age 3 years of age.  Parents should accompany young children in to the exam room.  Usually by the time children are 5 years old, or in senior kindergarten, they can sit for the dental exam by themselves.

What should I use to clean my baby's teeth? 
A toothbrush or washcloth will remove plaque bacteria that can lead to decay. Any soft-bristled toothbrush with a small head, preferably one designed specifically for infants, should be used at least once a day at bedtime.

Are baby teeth important? 
Primary, or "baby," teeth are important for many reasons. They help children speak clearly and chew naturally, and facilitate in forming a path that permanent teeth can follow when they are ready to erupt.  If baby teeth are compromised, children might experience pain with cavities, and later have crooked teeth.

What should I do if my child has a toothache? 
First, rinse the irritated area with warm salt water and place a cold compress on the face if it is swollen. Give tylenol syrup for pain.  (Do NOT place aspirin on the teeth or gums). Finally, see a dentist as soon as possible.

Are thumbsucking and pacifier habits harmful for a child's teeth? 
Thumb and pacifier sucking will usually only be a problem if it goes on past 3 years of age. Most children stop these habits on their own, but if they are still sucking their thumbs or fingers past the age of three, a mouth appliance may be recommended by your dentist.

How can I prevent tooth decay caused by nursing? 
Avoid nursing children to sleep or putting anything other than water in their bed-time bottle. Also, learn the proper way to brush and floss your child's teeth.

How do I make my child's diet safe for his teeth? 
Make sure your child has a balanced diet, including one serving each of: fruits and vegetables, breads and cereals, milk and dairy products, and meat fish and eggs. Limiting the servings of sugars and starches will also aid in protecting your child's teeth from decay.

How do dental sealants work? 
Sealants work by filling in the crevasses on the chewing surfaces of the teeth. This shuts out food particles that could get caught in the teeth, causing cavities. The application is fast and comfortable and can effectively protect teeth for many years.  Dr. Ing suggests using sealants at about 7 years of age.

How often does my child need to see the dentist? 
A check-up every six months is recommended in order prevent cavities and other dental problems. However, your dentist can tell you when and how often your child should visit based on their personal oral health.

Toothpaste: when to start and how much to use?

This point is somewhat controversial.  Some suggest brushing in the first year of life.  Other dentists worry that if the child does not know how to rinse and spit out the toothpaste the fluroide may cause white spots (flurosis) on the incisors.  Usually by age 3-4 yo children know how to spit out and not swallow excess toothpaste after brushing.  Parents should assist their child when brushing teeth, and use at most a "pea size" amount of toothpaste. 

How safe are dental X-rays? 
There is very little risk in dental X-rays. Dentists are especially careful to limit the amount of radiation to which children are exposed. Lead aprons and high-speed film are used to ensure safety and minimize the amount of radiation.

How can parents help prevent tooth decay? 
Parents should take their children to the dentist regularly, beginning with the eruption of the first tooth. Then, the dentist can recommend a specific program of brushing, flossing, and other treatments for parents to supervise and teach to their children. These home treatments, when added to regular dental visits and a balanced diet, will help give your child a lifetime of healthy habits.

What can I do to protect my child's teeth during sports? 
Soft plastic mouthguards can be used to protect a child's teeth, lips, cheeks and gums from sport related injuries. A custom-fitted mouthguard can be developed by the dental office, and will protect your child from injuries to the teeth, face and even provide protection from head injury / concussion.

 

What should I do if my child falls and knocks out a permanent tooth? 
The most important thing to do is to remain calm. Then find the tooth. Hold it by the crown rather than the root and try to reinsert it in the socket. If that is not possible, put the tooth in a glass of milk and take your child and the glass immediately to the dentist.

Make sure to check with your dentist!

This website contains useful general guidelines, but the information may not apply to your particular problem.  Make an appointment with your dentist or Dr. Ing for further clarification.  Be smart!  There is no substitute for an office visit with a detailed dental examination.