Dental Health for children isn’t just about making sure teeth are white and cavity free, but also involves monitoring a young bite to ensure that skeletal and dental abnormalities and discrepancies are caught early and treated appropriately. Correct eruption of baby teeth play an important part in a child’s oral development and can influence the shape of a child’s mouth and face, impacting their speech and ability to effectively chew food. Finding a dental team to care for your child’s oral health is as vital as finding the ideal family physician, as a child’s oral health greatly influences their overall wellbeing.
When To Take Your Child To The Dentist
Both the Canadian Dental Association and the Alberta Dental Association recommend a child see a dentist by the age of 1, or sooner if a parent has specific concerns. This might sound really young, but the reality is that an infant will begin to cut lower molars around 12 to 14 months, and is already displaying central and lateral incisors. Coupled with their advancing diet that incorporates a wider range of textures, flavours, and degree of sweetness, there is real need for an infant to visit the dentist to ensure their teeth are erupting on schedule and that the new teeth don’t bear any signs of decay. Baby Bottle Caries is a very real and damaging condition that destroys baby teeth due to the sugars the baby is exposed to in breast milk, formulas, and fruit juice. Replacing a sleep or nap time bottle with water instead of juice or milk is an essential step in protecting a child’s health and smile.
Can a Soother Change a Child’s Smile?
As cute as a soother or pacifier might look in your child’s mouth, the reality is that this time-trusted appliance isn’t just calming a child. It is actually altering the shape of their mouth and the position of their teeth when used for a continued period of time. A child who relies on a soother past the age of 4 may be more prone to dental issues due to the adaptations a soother can make to a child’s bite. Prone to changing the shape of the upper palate – resulting in it becoming taller and narrower – a soother can also cause front teeth to protrude out and develop a wide gap between the front teeth. Without early dental intervention these types of skeletal and tooth concerns can lead to dental health issues which follow into adult life. Your dentist can help transition a child away from oral habits such as thumb sucking and extended pacifier use while monitoring the development and health of teeth.
Follow our blog in the coming weeks for more information regarding dental care for children.