Infant/Toddlers (0-3)

First Visit

infant.jpg Your baby's first visit to Riverpark Dental is fundamentally important as it forms the basis of our relationship. We work together with parents and guardians to obtain important information needed to provide excellent comprehensive dental care for your baby. We strive to make this experience fun and relaxing for everyone. At the first visit you will be given a tour of the entire office and have a complimentary consultation with one of our doctors. Depending on your preferences you can choose to be seen either by one of our general dentists or Dr. Abdul - our foreign-trained pediatric specialist, licensed as a general dentist in Ontario.

Lap.jpg We use a "lap to lap" examination (see the picture on the right) in which you are holding your baby on your lap gently laying your baby's head on the dentist's lap. Together you and the team members will be able to see into your baby's mouth and your baby will be safe in your arms.

Services

  • Oral Health Education Program for Babies and Parents - Your baby's teeth and gums are consistently checked and you learn techniques regarding how to ensure your baby has the best start to their oral care.
  • Oral Health Education Program for Toddlers
  • Oral Hygiene Services

Education

ERUPTION OF YOUR BABY'S TEETH
Your baby's teeth begin forming before birth. Around 6 to 8 months, the first baby (or primary) teeth to erupt are the lower front teeth, followed closely by the upper front teeth. Although all 20 primary teeth usually appear by age 3, the pace and order of their eruption varies. Normally, the first baby tooth erupts between ages of 6 to 12 months. During teething, your child's gums can be sore and tender. Gently rubbing sore gums with a clean finger, the back of a cold spoon or a cold, wet cloth may help soothe your child. Some parents find that teething rings work well, but be sure to avoid teething biscuits—they often contain the sugars that cause cavities.

The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Dental Association, and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry all recommend establishing a "Dental Home" for your child by one year of age. Children who have a dental home are more likely to receive appropriate preventive and routine oral health care. The dental home is the ongoing relationship between the dentist and the patient, inclusive of all aspects of oral health care delivered in a comprehensive, continuously accessible, coordinated and family-centered way.

If you suspect that your baby has a dental problem, bring him or her to see a us as soon as possible.

CAVITY PREVENTION
If your baby is using bottles or sip-cups, you should monitor the teeth for signs of 'Baby-Bottle Tooth Decay' or 'Early Childhood Caries'. Examine your child's upper front teeth on both sides every couple of weeks for chalky white spots or lines. A bottle containing anything other than water and left in a baby's mouth while sleeping can cause decay and these chalky white spots are usually the first signs of a cavity. These cavities happen 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. During sleep, the saliva flow significantly decreases and sugary liquids pool around the child's teeth for long periods, covering the teeth in acids.

BABY BOTTLE TOOTH DECAY
One serious form of decay among young children is baby bottle tooth decay, also referred to by dentists as early childhood caries. This condition is caused by frequent and long exposures of an baby’s teeth to liquids that contain sugar. Among these liquids are milk (including breast milk), formula, fruit juice and other sweetened drinks. Putting a baby to bed for a nap or at night with a bottle other than water can cause serious and rapid tooth decay. Sweet liquid pools around the baby's teeth giving plaque bacteria an opportunity to produce acids that attack tooth enamel. If you must give the baby a bottle as a comforter at bedtime, it should contain only water. If your baby won't fall asleep without the bottle and its usual beverage, gradually dilute the bottle's contents with water over a period of two to three weeks. After each feeding, wipe the baby's gums and teeth with a damp washcloth or gauze pad to remove plaque. The easiest way to do this is to sit down, place the baby's head in your lap or lay the child on a dressing table or the floor. Whatever position you use, ensure that you can see into the baby's mouth easily.

WHEN SHOULD I START BRUSHING?
Begin daily brushing as soon as the baby's first tooth erupts. A pea size amount of fluoride toothpaste can be used after the child is old enough not to swallow it. Proper brushing removes plaque from the inner, outer and chewing surfaces. Place toothbrush at a 45 degree angle; start along gum line with a soft bristle brush in a gentle circular motion. Brush the outer surfaces of each tooth, upper and lower. Repeat the same method on the inside surfaces and chewing surfaces of all the teeth. Finish by brushing the tongue to help freshen breath and remove bacteria.

WHEN SHOULD I BRING THE BABY FIRST?
Start dental visits between six and twelve months of age.

FLUORIDE
Fluoride is an element which has been shown to be beneficial to teeth. However, too little or too much fluoride can be detrimental to the teeth. Little or no fluoride will not strengthen teeth to help them resist cavities. Excessive fluoride ingestion by toddlers can lead to dental fluorosis, which is a chalky white to even brown discoloration of the permanent teeth. Many children often get more fluoride than their parents realize. Being aware of your toddler's potential sources of fluoride can help parents prevent the possibility of dental fluorosis.

Some of these sources are:

  • Too much fluoridated toothpaste at an early age
  • The inappropriate use of fluoride supplements
  • Hidden sources of fluoride in the child's diet

2- and 3-year olds may not be able to spit out fluoride-containing toothpaste when brushing. As a result, these youngsters may ingest an excessive amount of fluoride during tooth brushing. Toothpaste ingestion during this critical period of permanent tooth development is the greatest risk factor in the development of fluorosis.

Excessive and inappropriate intake of fluoride supplements may also contribute to fluorosis. Fluoride drops and tablets, as well as fluoride fortified vitamins should not be given to infants younger than six months of age. After that time, fluoride supplements should only be given to children after all of the sources of ingested fluoride have been accounted for and upon the recommendation of your pediatrician or pediatric dentist.

Certain foods contain high levels of fluoride, especially powdered concentrate infant formula, soy-based infant formula, infant dry cereals, creamed spinach, and infant chicken products. Please read the label or contact the manufacturer. Some beverages also contain high levels of fluoride, especially decaffeinated teas, white grape juices and juice drinks manufactured in fluoridated cities.

Parents can take the following steps to decrease the risk of fluorosis in their children's teeth:

  • Use baby tooth cleanser on your toddler's toothbrush
  • Place only a pea sized drop of children's toothpaste on the brush when brushing
  • Account for all of the sources of ingested fluoride before requesting fluoride supplements from our dentist
  • Avoid giving any fluoride-containing supplements to infants until they are at least six months old
  • Obtain fluoride level test results for your drinking water before giving fluoride supplements to your baby (check with local water utilities)