Baby and child hygiene

En tant que parent, vous jouez un rôle de premier plan pour préserver les dents de votre enfant en bonne santé. La prévention commence à la maison par de bonnes habitudes alimentaires et un brossage quotidien des dents. Le Dr Manoukian et son équipe ont à coeur la santé dentaire de votre famille et vous invitent à prendre connaissances de ces précieuses informations dédiées pour le bien-être de vos touts petits.

Eruption and growth of teeth

The primary dentition, i.e. the 20 baby teeth, will have appeared before your child reaches the age of 3. Around the age of 6-7, the first permanent (adult) teeth appear. Between about 6 and 12 years old, this is the period during which the primary teeth fall out and are replaced with the permanent teeth. It is possible that a permanent tooth begins to grow before the primary tooth falls. In some cases, the dentist will then have to perform an extraction of the problematic baby tooth. Generally, around the age of 13, all permanent teeth will have erupted except for wisdom teeth which, depending on the case, will only arrive around the age of 18. It should be noted that these third molars are not always present in the mouth. Sometimes they remain under the gums throughout life and extraction is necessary if they cause problems. Remember, regardless of the age and time of their fall, all these teeth will be meticulously picked up by the tooth fairy!

Practical advice if your child’s teeth are erupting

If your child seems to be in pain during the tooth rash period, you can rub his gums with a finger or rub them with the back of a small cold spoon. You can also bite it in a cold water washcloth or in a refrigerated teething ring. If the discomfort persists, do not hesitate to contact us. Indeed, we may recommend an over-the-counter medication to calm pain like Tylenol for children.

Pacifiers and thumb sucking

It is normal for a baby to suck on objects because this is how he relaxes and feeds. The closer your child approaches the age of 2 or 3, the less he feels this need. We suggest that you limit the use of the pacifier as your child grows up. Remove it gently when it is no longer necessary, which will avoid perpetuating the habit. If this is not the case, the use of a pacifier is recommended rather than thumb suction. Prolonged thumb suction can lead to the displacement of the front teeth and the deformation of the palate. In addition, the habit of the pacifier will be easier to abandon than that of the thumb. If a child continues to suck his thumb or pacifier during the eruption of permanent teeth, the growth of his jaw and the position of his teeth can suffer and cause more or less significant malocclusion problems that may require orthodontic treatment. Remember that not all babies feel the need to have a pacifier or put their thumb to their mouth and that this is the ideal situation.

Warning about the choice of pacifiers

We find on the market a panoply of pacifiers all more attractive and colorful than each other. However, we recommend that you do not choose the pacifier according to its beauty but according to the characteristics of it for the part that goes into the mouth. When purchasing, you must in particular monitor the following characteristics: shape, flexibility and size.

The shape: it must resemble as much as possible that of the mother’s nipple during breastfeeding and allows the proper positioning of the lips.

Flexibility: The nipple must be flexible to allow the tongue to act freely when baby swallows.

Size: Choose the size of the pacifier according to the baby’s age. A nipple or pacifier that is too big or too small can affect the way they swallow.

It is important never to soak the pacifier in sugar, honey, maple syrup or any other sweet substance because this habit is harmful to baby’s teeth and can cause cavities. In addition, the pacifier must be replaced regularly. Any swollen, sticky, pasty, cracked or torn nipple must be replaced immediately.

Early childhood caries

As soon as the first teeth appear, sugar should be avoided. The goal is to prevent tooth decay, which can appear very early and cause pain to the child. Moreover, breast milk, infant formula, cow’s milk and fruit juices all contain sugar. Children may have cavities if:

  • The child sleeps with a bottle of juice, sweet drink or milk because they all contain sugar
  • The child takes sugar coated product or takes medicines containing sugar
  • The child regularly takes drinks or sweet foods throughout the day
  • The child does not brush 2 x day, never flosses and does not have his teeth professionally cleaned regularly

As soon as your child has teeth, check them every month. Beware of dull white spots or lines that can form on the teeth and at the edge of the gums. Also beware of dark colored teeth. Young child caries must be treated quickly otherwise your child may have pain and develop an infection.

Brushing children’s teeth

About up to the age of 6, young children cannot clean their teeth without your presence. Parents must do it for them when they are very young and do it with them when they are older. You should start cleaning your child’s teeth before the first tooth appears. This will allow your child to get into the habit while ensuring the first teeth have a clean environment. It is normal for your child to want to brush his teeth himself. However, you must make sure that he does it correctly. Tell him that you want to continue helping him.

How to brush your baby’s teeth

  • Install your baby comfortably
  • Make sure you see well in his mouth
  • Gently rub his gums and teeth with a baby brush or a damp cloth
  • Do not use toothpaste if your baby does not yet have teeth

How to brush your child’s teeth

  • Stand behind your child
  • Tilt his head back against your stomach. This allows you to brush his upper and lower teeth
  • Use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste and make sure the child does not swallow the toothpaste if it contains fluoride
  • Take a child’s toothbrush and brush his teeth in the same way as you brush your teeth

How should your child brush his teeth himself (about 6 years old)

  • Ask him to hold his brush at a 45-degree angle with the teeth, the bristles should slide under the edge of the gums, at the base of the teeth
  • Teach them to brush their teeth gently, in circular motion by cleaning each surface of each tooth. For the front teeth, they can use the tip of the brush.
  • If possible, you can buy them an electric brush for children, it will help them facilitate the brushing, more easily eliminate bacteria in the mouth and be a good source of motivation also.

The choice of a toothbrush, toothpaste and floss

The brush: For a small mouth, you need a small toothbrush. We suggest soft bristles with rounded ends. You will have to buy a new brush every 3 or 4 months and sometimes even sooner because we know that children do not spare their brush! If the bristles are twisted or worn, the brush cleans badly and could even damage the gums.

Toothpaste: To prevent cavities, make sure that the toothpaste is fluoridated. We suggest not using fluoridated toothpaste for children under 3 years of age since it is difficult for them not to swallow it. The amount of toothpaste is reduced to the size of a pea and that is enough.

Floss: Since the toothbrush does not penetrate between the teeth it is necessary to floss. Ask your child to wrap the silk around each of his fingers and slide the thread between the teeth by a shear movement. Your child can also use a small fork for flossing. It will be much easier to use and just as effective for younger children.

Our dental clinic offers comprehensive dental care for children, young or old, in a warm and family environment. Whether shy or talkative, fearful or adventurous, each child will benefit from personalized treatment with us and he will only want one thing: come back to see us to show us their smile again at the next appointment!

For any questions, do not hesitate to contact our team