Pediatric Dentistry

Pediatric Dentistry

Pediatric Dentistry / Children's Dentist Ottawa

Leading children & teens dentistry practice in Ottawa, Ontario

Teething

Normally the first tooth erupts between ages 6 to 12 months. Gums can be sore, tender and sometimes irritable with erupting teeth. Rubbing sore gums gently with a clean finger, the back of a cold spoon or a cold, wet cloth helps soothe the gums. Teething rings work well, but avoid teething biscuits—they contain sugar that is not good for baby teeth.

While your baby is teething, it is important to monitor the teeth for signs of early decay. Examine the teeth, especially on the inside or the tongue side, for changes in appearance. A bottle containing anything other than water and left in an infant’s mouth while sleeping can cause decay. This happens because sugar in the liquid mixes with bacteria in dental plaque, forming acids that attack the tooth enamel. Each time a child drinks liquids containing sugar, acids attack the teeth for about 20 minutes. When awake, saliva carries away the liquid. Similarly, there is increased risk of decay if the infant nurses at bedtime without a brushing of the teeth following this. During sleep, the saliva flow significantly decreases and liquids pool around the child’s teeth for long periods, covering the teeth in acids.

Infant’s New Teeth

The primary, or “baby,” teeth play a crucial role in dental development. Without them, a child cannot chew food properly and has difficulty speaking clearly. Primary teeth are vital to development of the jaws and for guiding the permanent (secondary) teeth into place when they replace the primary teeth starting around age 6.

Since primary teeth guide the permanent teeth into place, infants with missing primary teeth or infants who prematurely lose primary teeth may require a space maintainer, a device used to hold the natural space open. Without a maintainer, the teeth can tilt toward the empty space and cause permanent teeth to come in crooked. Missing teeth should always be mentioned to your family dentist. The way your child cares for his/her primary teeth plays a critical role in how he/she treats the permanent teeth. Children and adults are equally susceptible to plaque and gum problems – hence, the need for regular care and dental checkups.

A Child’s First Dental Visit

A child’s first dental visit should be scheduled around his/her first birthday. The most important part of the visit is getting to know and becoming comfortable with the dentist and his/her staff. A pleasant, comfortable first visit builds trust and helps put the child at ease during future dental visits. If possible, allow the child to sit in a parent’s lap in the exam room. Children should be encouraged to discuss any fears or anxiety they feel. For the infant, the examination is usually done while lying on their parent’s lap.

Why Primary Teeth Are Important

Primary teeth are important for several reasons. Foremost, good teeth allow a child to eat and maintain good nutrition. Healthy teeth allow for clear pronunciation and speech habits. The self-image that healthy teeth give a child is immeasurable. Primary teeth also guide eruption of the permanent teeth.

Good Diet and Healthy Teeth

Primary teeth are important for several reasons. Foremost, good teeth allow a child to eat and maintain good nutrition. Healthy teeth allow for clear pronunciation and speech habits. The self-image that healthy teeth give a child is immeasurable. Primary teeth also guide eruption of the permanent teeth.

Good Diet and Healthy Teeth

The teeth, bones and soft tissue of the mouth require a healthy, well-balanced diet. A variety of foods from the five food groups helps minimize (and avoid) cavities and other dental problems. Most snacks that children eat cause cavities, so children should only receive healthy foods like vegetables, low-fat yogurt and cheeses, which promote strong teeth.

Infant Tooth Eruption

A child’s teeth actually start forming before birth. As early as 4 months of age, the primary or “baby” teeth push through the gums—the lower central incisors are first, then the upper central incisors. The remainder of the 20 primary teeth typically erupt by age 3, but the place and order varies.

Permanent teeth begin eruption around age 6, starting with the first molars and lower central incisors. This process continues until around age 21. Adults have 28 secondary (permanent) teeth—32 including the third molars (wisdom teeth).

Preventing Early Childhood Tooth Decay

Because tooth decay is caused by several factors working together, there are sound preventive practices that are important to keep the teeth healthy. These include smart feeding practices including appropriate use of the bottle or breastfeeding, and good oral hygiene practices which we will review with you.

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Woodroffe Pediatric Dentistry
1637 Woodroffe Ave., #302
Ottawa, ON Canada K2G 1W2
Phone: 613-226-6634
E-mail: 302wpd@bellnet.ca
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OFFICE HOURS
Monday: 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Tuesday: 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Wednesday: 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Thursday: 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Friday: 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Saturday: Closed
Sunday: Closed
CONTACT INFORMATION
Woodroffe Pediatric Dentistry

1637 Woodroffe Ave., #302
Ottawa, ON Canada K2G 1W2

Phone: 613-226-6634
E-mail: 302wpd@bellnet.ca

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