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How to Keep Your Child’s Mouth Healthy

How to Keep Your Child’s Mouth Healthy

Ensuring that your child has a healthy mouth free of cavities and gum issues is vital, but it can be hard to know what to do to keep their mouth as healthy as possible. Listed below is an essential guide in maintaining the health of your child’s mouth:

  • Before teeth erupt in your baby’s mouth (around 6-10 months old), use a damp cloth to wipe your baby’s gums after milk.
  • Once the first baby teeth erupt (around 6-10 months old), start using a small-headed toothbrush to brush the teeth with water, after milk and before bed. 
  • All of your child’s teeth will be erupted by around 2.5 years old. 
  • There are 20 baby teeth in a full set, 12 front teeth, and eight back teeth. 
  • Reduce soother use and try to eliminate by the age of 2.5
  • To wean a soother, try cutting the tip of the soother off to reduce suction. 
  • Try to eliminate thumb sucking also around 2.5 
  • Both a soother and thumb sucking create a suction that can alter the shape of their jaw and affect how their teeth bite together. 
  • Make sure to brush your baby/child’s teeth after nursing and after bottles of milk. 
  • Never put your baby to bed with a bottle of milk, as exposure to the sugars in the milk can cause cavities. 
  • Begin using a fluoridated toothpaste around three years old, only using a size of the tip of a pen 
  • Bring your baby/child in for their first dental visit around 2.5-3 years old or earlier if there is a specific issue or concern. 
  • If you notice a chip or discoloured spot on your baby/child’s teeth, bring them to the dentist, as this might be a sign of a cavity. 
  • Begin flossing your child’s teeth around four years old. At this time, the spaces between their back molars will close together, increasing the risk for cavities. 
  • Help your child brush and floss their teeth until around the age of 7-8 to prevent the risk of cavities (in particular, at the age of 6, adult molars erupt at the back that is difficult for kids to access on their own) 
  • At any point, if there is trauma to your baby or child’s mouth, bring them immediately to the dentist.
  • If you notice a grey or yellow baby tooth, it may mean there was past trauma, and you should bring them to the dentist for a check. 

If you have any questions about how to keep your baby or child’s mouth healthy, contact us now to schedule an appointment

All You Need To Know About Canker Sores

All You Need To Know About Canker Sores

“Canker sore” is the layman’s term for an aphthous ulcer. They typically appear as small, flat, white or off-white lesions on the soft tissues of the mouth such as the inner lips, the base of the gums, under the tongue and on the cheeks. They do not appear on any keratinized tissues, such as that of the top of the tongue. Canker sores differ from cold sores in that they do not appear on the lips, and they are not contagious. 

What Causes Canker Sores?

There is not always an easy answer to this question. Some people are more prone to canker sores than others, and some people rarely get them. A combination of factors may cause an outbreak. Possible causes may include: 

  • Emotional or physical stress 
  • Lack of sleep or fatigue 
  • Sensitivity to certain foods such as acidic fruits and vegetables (tomato, lemons)
  • Minor trauma from an injury or dental work 
  • Tongue or cheek biting 
  • Low vitamin b12 levels 
  • Use of toothpaste or mouthwash that contains sodium lauryl sulphate 
  • Certain oral bacteria 
  • Certain medical conditions such as celiac disease, inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn’s or ulcerative colitis, Behcet’s Disease and HIV/AIDS

Risk Factors For Canker Sores 

Canker sores most commonly affect young adults and youth and are more common in females than in males. In addition, there is also a family link for canker sores, whether this is from a genetic predisposition or from environmental factors such as a similar diet or allergens. 

How to Prevent Canker Sores 

Canker sores are sometimes inevitable, but there are ways to reduce the frequency and severity of them. 

  • Avoiding foods that are known irritants (such as spicy, acidic and tart foods)
  • Take a vitamin b12 supplement if you have a diet low in vitamin b12
  • Reduce your stress
  • Protect your mouth from irritants and injuries 
  • Find a toothpaste and mouthwash that works for you 
  • Maintain good oral hygiene 

Treatment of Canker Sores 

The most important factor is time. Canker sores will usually go away on their own in a week or less. If the canker sore is particularly large, it may take several weeks. Some ways to help speed up the healing or relief the symptoms are:

  • Off the shelf oral or topical medications for pain relief 
  • Dab magnesium hydroxide (milk of magnesium) on the sore several times a day 
  • Rinsing with salt water morning and evening 
  • Apply ice to the area by sucking on ice chips 

If you get frequent canker sores or have any questions about preventing canker sores, we encourage you to contact our office today to schedule an appointment.