Caring For Your Preschooler's Teeth

So hopefully you were able to read the article posted on Just to summarize:

  1. Less than 1% of healthy children receive dental care as recommended by 12 months of age
  2. These are Canadian Dental Association's recommendations
  3. Low family income, bottle use during the day or night beyond 15 months of age and drinking a lot of sugar-sweetened beverages were associated with increased risk of getting cavities – Says the author of the study (Dr.Jonathon Maguire, MD).
  4. The complications of poor dental health in children are significant, including pain that can lead to difficulties eating, poor nutrition and poor growth, difficulties sleeping, difficulties with behaviour, infections and low self-esteem
  5. The most common surgical procedure in pediatric hospitals across Canada is extracting teeth in preschoolers
  6. Most parents are unaware of the guidelines
  7. The role of the family doctor or pediatrician to provide counseling and education to parents

These are really good points that the general public needs to know. My son started to see me around 16 months and for him, there were obvious signs of stain, but no cavities. I was able to give him a quick polish and fluoride and I educated myself with where I was missing during his routine brushing. Parents need to bring in their children to be educated on the issues that kids have with their teeth, to learn to brush properly, the effects of diet and hidden sources of sugar in their foods, etc. The article mentions that it is the pediatrician's role to educate on dental health and I think it is a good start. However, kids brought in at a very young age also start to get accustomed to the dental environment and it doesn't mean they always get “work” done. Many times it's just a quick look see, educate the parents and create a positive environment. Usually we don't charge for this and many pediatric specialist in the area do this too. So if your child is under 2 and haven't seen a dentist yet, it's time to bring them in.

Dr. Toong