Healthy smiles for your kids start with high quality dental care in Mississauga
Lifelong habits for good oral health start at an early age. With a healthy, pain-free smile, kids can feel confident to learn, play, and grow. Dr. Jameela Jifri and associates at Huron Dental Centre in Mississauga, Ontario are committed to providing high quality dental care for your kids and understand the unique dental needs of children.
When baby teeth start coming in
Baby teeth are present in your child’s jaw when they are born, and usually the first teeth to break through are their top and bottom front teeth, or incisors. This process, called teething, can cause some gum discomfort for your child and they may produce more saliva than usual when the teeth are cutting through the gums.
Baby teeth typically start coming in between the ages of six months and one year. However, each child is different, and some children may be younger or older when their teeth start coming in. You can speak with your child’s dentist about any questions or concerns about your child’s tooth development.
Baby teeth are important even though they are temporary
Even though baby teeth are not permanent, they serve many important functions and it is important to keep them healthy. Baby teeth serve the following purposes:
- Help your child chew food properly: Children have several different types of teeth that serve important functions for cutting, tearing, and grinding food. If teeth are painful or missing, chewing can become difficult and problems with their bite may occur.
- Allow your child to speak normally: Many speech sounds require teeth to be in their proper position. Without teeth in their correct places, children can have trouble saying sounds like S, T, and others correctly.
- Make space for adult teeth: Baby teeth hold the space in the jaw that is needed for adult teeth to grow into their proper places. Without baby teeth, adult teeth may grow into extra spaces and then crowd out other teeth as they try to grow in, which can cause the adult teeth to be crowded or crooked.
- Give your child a great smile: Your child’s teeth are an important part of their smile and a healthy, full set of teeth can help ensure they feel confident in their grin.
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The benefits of good dental care for your children
Tooth decay can start as soon as your baby’s teeth erupt through the gums, and it is one of the most common chronic conditions that affect children. In fact, 1 in 100 children younger than the age of 5 need to have day surgery due to tooth decay, and there are approximately 19,000 dental surgeries performed on kids under the age of 6 in Canada each year. If cavities or gum disease go untreated, they can cause your child pain and discomfort and can interfere with their ability to speak, eat, and learn.
By starting good oral health habits early, you can help prevent cavities and gum problems in your child. You can take the following steps with your child to keep their teeth and mouth healthy:
- Babies who have not cut any teeth yet: wipe down their gums daily with a wet cloth to clean off milk or food from their gums
- Children under six years old: brush their teeth gently with a very small amount of toothpaste each day and floss their teeth
- Children six years and older: supervise their tooth brushing and flossing to ensure that they are cleaning effectively, brush for a full two minutes, and that they do not swallow their toothpaste
For all children, encouraging healthy eating habits will help keep their teeth healthy because it will help prevent the harmful bacteria that cause tooth decay from growing.
In addition to good home oral hygiene habits, regular visits to your child’s dentist can provide your child the foundation for healthy teeth and gums for years to come.
Children should make their first visit to the dentist as soon as their first tooth comes in, or before they turn one. After that, your child should visit their dentist for regular hygiene visits every six months.
Your child’s dentist can answer your questions about how to keep your child’s teeth healthy and cavity-free and check for any issues with your child’s tooth development. The dentist can also help stop any tooth decay that has already started before it grows out of control, which can result in more expensive treatments, pain, and tooth loss.
Dr. Jameela Jifri and associates at Huron Dental Centre in Mississauga provide high quality dental care for children. We accept Healthy Smiles Ontario for no-cost, routine dental care for children from income-qualified families. Schedule your child’s appointment today by calling us at 855 393-0900.
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