How to Brush Children's Teeth

Brush Baby Teeth | When to start brushing baby teeth | How to brush baby teeth | Brush children's teeth | Children dentist | First dental visit | Children's dentist Richmond BC | Richmond Dentist | Richmond Children's Dentist

"When should I start brushing my baby's teeth?"

You should clean your baby's mouth even before your child has teeth. Use a clean damp washcloth to wipe your baby's gums daily. This routine gets you and your baby into the habit of keeping the mouth clean, and it gives baby teeth a clean place to come into.

As soon as the first tooth emerges, parents should start brushing their children's teeth.

"How to brush my child's teeth?"

This position is very effective in brushing your children's teeth

This position is very effective in brushing your children's teeth

  • Lie your baby in a comfortable place

  • Make sure you can see into your baby's mouth

  • Use a soft baby toothbrush

  • Apply a small amount (the size of a grain of rice) of fluoridated toothpaste on the toothbrush. 

  • Brush your baby's teeth. Make sure you clean all the surfaces of their teeth. 

  • If your baby is too young to spit out toothpaste, use a clean damp washcloth to wipe off the toothpaste.

  • Floss between teeth as soon as two teeth touch together. Floss sticks may be easier to use on children.

  • Brush your child's teeth twice a day: in the morning and just before bed. Floss once a day.

"When can kids brush their own teeth?"

Children lack the coordination and dexterity to brush their teeth properly until about the age of eight. Remember if you child cannot write his or her name they cannot clean their teeth effectively. 

Children under 3 years of age should have their teeth brushed by an adult.

Children from 3 to 8 years of age should be assisted by an adult in brushing their teeth. If your child wants to brush his or her own teeth, you can let them brush first and then you can brush their teeth again after to make sure they are clean.

"When should my child start seeing the dentist?"

The Canadian Dental Association recommends the assessment of infants, by a dentist, within 6 months of the eruption of the first tooth or by one year of age. The goal is to have your child visit the dentist before there is a problem with his or her teeth. In most cases, a dental exam every six months will let your child's dentist catch small problems early.

Do I Need My Wisdom Teeth Out?

 

"My Dentist recommended extracting my wisdom teeth, but they are not hurting me. Do I really need to have my wisdom teeth removed?"

We hear the above question fairly often. I hope the following information will be useful to you in helping decide what to do with your wisdom teeth.

Your wisdom teeth do not need to be removed if they are:

  • Healthy
  • Fully erupted (fully grown in)
  • Positioned properly to bite with the opposing teeth
  • Positioned so that all surfaces can be cleaned sufficiently daily
Healthy wisdom teeth (*) positioned aesthetically and functionally. 

Healthy wisdom teeth (*) positioned aesthetically and functionally. 

For the wisdom teeth to erupt and align properly there must be sufficient room in the back of the jaw. It is very rare to see someone with all 32 teeth in the mouth. The above images show someone with wisdom teeth that are optimally aligned and functional. 

Examples of Wisdom Teeth Problems

Sometimes wisdom teeth only partially emerge through the gums. Other times, they are completely hidden. Wisdom teeth that fail to erupt properly become impacted, or trapped, in the jaw bone. 

The partially impacted wisdom teeth create a passageway for food and bacteria, which can cause

  • Decay of the wisdom teeth
  • Pain and infection of the gums around the wisdom teeth
  • Damage to adjacent teeth
Impacted wisdom tooth 

Impacted wisdom tooth 

Wisdom tooth causing damage to the neighboring tooth. 

Wisdom tooth causing damage to the neighboring tooth. 

According to the American Dental Association, wisdom teeth removal may be necessary if you experience changes in your mouth, such as:

  • Pain
  • Repeated infection of gums surrounding the lower last tooth
  • Cysts
  • Tumors
  • Damage to nearby teeth
  • Gum disease
  • Extensive tooth decay

Wisdom teeth can cause damage long before your experience symptoms. The damage can be irreversible, as shown in the image above. The best way of prevention is to take a panoramic x-ray to check for the growth and orientation of the wisdom teeth. If the wisdom teeth are positioned in a problematic way, your dentist may recommend removing them before they start to cause damage to the surrounding tissue.

The decision to remove wisdom teeth can be complex. Talk to your dentist about the position and the health of your wisdom teeth and what's best for your situation.