4 tips for your baby's dental hygiene


this is your health a podcast of the

integrated health and social services

University Network for West Central

Montreal hello I'm Peter Anthony holder

welcome to this week's edition of your

health most people know that they have

to go for regular check-ups of their

teeth through the course of their life

but how early should those visits start

well the answer is very early as an

infant when you start developing teeth

you need to be regularly checked by a

professional one place you can visit is

clinic baby doll at the CL SC encoding

edge and the CL SC in park extension to

talk about proper oral hygiene for your

infant we are joined by Isabel de Loup a

public health dental hygienist with the

integrated health and social services

University network for West Central

Montreal Isabel how early should a child

first get their teeth checked they're

already doctors the Quebec actually

recommends at the latest twelve months

old or six months after the first tooth

has erupted at that early age what are

you looking for or trying to prevent

we're trying to prevent cavities

obviously and we are actually looking

for the starting signs beginning lesions

they could appear as early as ten months

old and as everybody knows it starts

small a cavity never just shows up

knowing a big hole like this

it begins small and when it's still

small we do we can have an impact on it

so that's why we want to get those as

early as possible what what causes

cavities in children it's not like you

usually at that age loading them up with

sugar and and the like so what is the

cause the causes are actually the same

causes as in adults and the very quick

recipe for a cavity you actually need

three three

yes you need bacteria you need sugar and

obviously you need teeth now if a baby

is only drinking milk with whether its

breast milk or in a bottle there still

is sugar in the milk and this not too

many people know about this so if you're

drinking milk and unfortunately your

parents passed on their bacteria to you

being a baby and you got teeth ah you're

at risk how often should a baby start

going to the dentist after they first go

as often as possible it at least every

six months if you're not at high risk

and sometimes more often if you are at

high risk of having cavities and how

different is their dental visits from

older children and adults a very good

question well we actually don't use so

many instruments the ones that you were

used to seeing in a in a regular checkup

and we we put the children on our laps

it's called the knee to knee technique

so instead of trying to hold on to the

baby on the big chair there we just sit

knee to knee with a parent and lay down

the child on our lap to have a better

look at the tea set the mouth well I was

about to ask you know many adults don't

like to go to the dentist unfortunately

so what's it like with young children

how do you calm their fears and and keep

them long enough keep them still long

enough for the procedures well babies

only have a few teeth unlike adults who

have 32 it takes longer to look at 32

teeth and four or maximum 20 so that

that's the first thing second of course

baby will cry for some reason they're

not comfortable and it's not like we're

hurting them or anything we brush their

teeth and we have a look which is a good

thing that they cry because when they're

crying they opened their mouth real big

so we can have a look much more easily

I was reading a statistic that says 42%

of children starting kindergarten have

had early childhood tooth decay that

seems pretty high do you think not

enough children go to see the dentist

early enough or often enough I don't

think it's so much that they don't visit

the dentist but that the parents don't

really know how to take care of baby

teeth that's the most important factor

here as soon as the first tooth is in

their mouth we should start brushing it

using fluoride toothpaste of course

watching what we feed our children or

children whether it's drinks or are very

sweet food but as early as possible we

should start brushing and it will avoid

a lot a lot of problems as the children

develop more teeth how early if at all

should you start flossing ah great


the answer is very simple as soon as the

teeth are in contact as soon as the

teeth are touching one another that's

when we should start flossing

what role does early dental care play in

setting up children for the permanent

teeth that will come out later major

role major role because it becomes a

habit taking care of their teeth just

gets integrated into their daily routine

and that is what will make the most the

biggest difference for later on as far

as dental hygiene is concerned is there

a special type of toothpaste different

from what the parents will be using when

they're brushing their children's first

teeth great question you ask good

questions mr. Peters absolutely as for

the fluoride it is the same as the

amount we can find in an adult

toothpaste that there are two main

differences the first one being the

taste of course us adults we use mint


eg to space and also the abrasives adult

toothpaste are more abrasive than

children when going to a dentist for the

first time with a baby does one simply

call and and and get in contact with

services like yours or do you go through

the pediatrician first is there a

process one must go through when going

to the dentist with a baby for the first

time well first thing I would suggest is

to ask your family dentist if he or she

works with babies you call you make an

appointment and the great news is exams

are covered by the Medicare card here in

Quebec once a year they're free until

nine years old inclusively so first

thing I would do I would suggest that

you call your dentist and if your

dentist does not work with babies then

you can ask the dentist if he would have

a referral or come see us at this

reality we all know what happens to

teeth later on in life you people

especially with younger children you end

up getting corrective things like braces

and whatnot is there anything that has

to be done to a baby that is corrective

on their teeth even though those teeth

are not permanent ones we can be on the

lookout obviously we do see we can see

some things that could affect the adult

life unfortunately the treatments don't

really begin until the age of five I

would say but one behavior that we will

try to help their parents with is

sucking to some and this can really

create damages in one's little Inlet in

one's mouth and so we try to support

parents into reducing those behaviors

what about pacifiers ah what about

pacifiers well first as a hygienist I

would much rather the child has a

pacifier than sucks his fingers because

it's much easier to get rid of a

pacifier than it is a response right

and the latest studies show that we

could go until the age of five and that

only with the natural mouse movement

that the teeth could go back into place

but the pacifier yes the children needed

I recommend by the age of three we could

start working on it and please please

please no dipping into honey no dipping

into sugar just the plain plastic

pacifier and as you know some adults

grind their teeth is that when they

sleep is this a problem for babies and

if so what can be done yes many children

will grind their teeth parents can

actually hear them it's a problem that

usually solves itself when the adult

teeth start coming out around the age of

five or six if and if it doesn't go away

by that age please consult your dentist

so again most important point here

children should start going to the

dentist around the age of six months

basically when they first start

developing teeth they should first start

seeing the dentist exactly that's

Isabelle JA who a public health dental

hygienist with the integrated health and

social services University Network for

West Central Montreal as Isabel

suggested you can consult with your

dentist to see if they take in infants

as patients you can also visit clinic

baby doll they have clinics at the CL SC

and Colton edge and the CL SC in park

extension for more information or to

make an appointment you can call the

kodan edge CL SC at five one four seven

three one eight five three one that's

five one four seven three one eighty

five thirty one the number for the CL SC

and park x is five one four two seven

three nine five nine one that's five one

four two seven three ninety five ninety

one and that's it for this edition of

your health again we remind you if you

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I'm Peter Anthony Holden thanks for

joining us you've been listening to your

health a podcast of the integrated

health and social services University

Network for west central Montreal join

us next week for another edition of your