When should I bring my child to the dentist for the first time?
The Canadian Dental Association recommends the assessment of infants, by a dentist or pediatric 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.
Brushing your child's teeth:
Before your child's teeth erupt, clean the baby's mouth with a soft cloth or infant toothbrush at bath time. When the teeth erupt, clean the child's teeth at least twice a day with a toothbrush designed for small children. We recommend that you check/assist with brushing your child's teeth until they are around 7 years of age or able to tie their own shoes.
Remember to change your toothbrush every 3-6 months when the bristles start to fray. We also recommend changing your toothbrush after a child gets sick to prevent possible re-infection.
Which Toothpaste to use?
Once your child is teething - You can use toothpastes that contain fluoride (even for infants).
The key is the amount of toothpaste used during each brushing. For infants the recommended amount is as little as a grain of rice.
What is the best way to check or brush my kids teeth?
You should sit on your bed and have your child lie on their back with their head on your lap. This will give you the best angle to see your child's teeth and brush them. Have fun with it and create a game so that your kids look forward to it.
About Pacifiers and Thumb-sucking:
Consider - frequency, duration, intensity (Can you hear it across the room?)
Keep in mind that these habits are normal and most children tend to stop on their own. However, the habit should be discouraged after the age of 3 because prolonged sucking habits can create crooked teeth or bite problems.