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Pediatric Dentistry Hero

Pediatric Dentistry

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Regular dental exams play a critical role in preventative dental care, setting your child up for a lifetime of happy and healthy smiles.

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How Often Should My Child Visit the Dentist?

Your child should be going for a dental exam and cleaning once per year starting around their first birthday. If your child has a high risk of developing tooth decay or gum disease your dentist may suggest that they visit more often.

During the Exam

During your child’s dental exam the dentist and dental hygienist will clean your child’s teeth and look for signs of tooth decay and gum disease. If necessary, the dentist may also have x-rays taken of your child’s teeth and jaw and perform other diagnostic procedures. Your dentist may also treat your child’s teeth with fluoride to prevent tooth decay and apply a sealant to your child’s teeth. Sealants act as a protective barrier, bonding to the grooves and depressions in each tooth and shielding the enamel.

Your dentist or dental hygienist may also discuss your child’s diet and oral hygiene habits and review proper brushing and flossing techniques.

Children’s Dental Needs By Age Group

Infants

Children begin to get their first teeth between the ages of six and nine months old, and as any parent knows teething can make children irritable. Gently massaging your child’s gums, applying a small cool spoon, or letting your child chew on a teething ring that has been placed in the fridge are all great ways to help reduce the gum irritation associated with teething.

As soon as your child’s first teeth emerge they can start getting cavities. Infections of any kind, including abscessed teeth or gum disease, can compromise your child’s immune system. Untreated cavities in babies and small children may escalate to the point where they need to be treated using major surgery.

Here are a few simple and effective things you can do to help ensure your child stays happy and healthy:

  • Clean your child’s gums after feeding: Wiping your child’s gums with a soft, damp washcloth after feeding removes milk and pureed food residue. Once your child’s baby teeth begin to come in you will need to brush them just like you brush your own teeth. Make sure that you clean the top and all four sides of each tooth to remove plaque and food residue. If your child’s teeth do not have space between them and are touching you will need to floss between them in order to remove food, plaque, and any other debris.
  • No milk or juice after bedtime: Sugar is hard on young teeth and can cause significant damage if it isn’t washed away. If your child goes to bed with a bottle, it should only be filled with water, not milk or juice.
  • Feeding time is not sleeping time: You should avoid letting your child doze while they are being fed, regardless of whether you are breastfeeding or formula feeding. Both formula and breast milk contain sugar, which can damage your child’s enamel and cause tooth decay if it is allowed to sit on your child’s teeth for prolonged periods of time.

Early childhood is a great time to teach good habits and lay the foundation for lifelong oral hygiene. Your child’s first tooth will appear between the ages of six and nine months, and their baby teeth will continue to emerge until about three years old. Gently massaging your child’s gums, applying a small cool spoon, or letting your child chew on a teething ring that has been placed in the fridge are all great ways to help reduce the gum irritation associated with teething.

To help protect your child’s teeth and gums, and promote healthy dental habits you should:

  • Limit sugary drinks. Sugary drinks, like juice and milk, should only be served at meal times. Letting your child constantly sip on sugary drinks allows the sugar to stay on their teeth, causing tooth decay. If your child wants a drink between meal times, you should fill their bottle or sippy cup with water.
  • Brush your child’s teeth after they eat sticky or sugary foods. After eating sticky or sugary foods, you should brush your child’s teeth and rinse their mouth out with water.
  • Floss. If your child’s teeth are touching you should floss between them at least once per day.
  • Change your child’s toothbrush. You should change your child’s toothbrush every one to three months. You should also replace your child’s toothbrush immediately after they have been ill. You should never share toothbrushes.
  • Set a good example. Letting your child watch you brush your teeth is a great way to encourage them to do so as well. Children are excellent imitators and will learn from your good habits.

Children under the age of three should have their teeth brushed for them twice a day by an adult and should not use toothpaste. You should only brush with fluoride toothpaste before the age of three if it is recommended by their dentist, and even then you should only use a minimal amount. A dab of toothpaste approximately the size of a grain of rice is sufficient.

Children between the ages of three and six can brush their own teeth with adult assistance. Your child only needs a small amount of toothpaste, a portion about the size of a pea, and you should encourage your child to spit out the toothpaste as opposed to swallowing it.

Children begin to get their permanent teeth between the ages of six and eight, and most children will have all of their permanent teeth (aside from their wisdom teeth) by the age of thirteen. To help prevent gum disease and tooth decay your child should:

  • Brush their teeth at least twice per day, and floss once per day.
  • Have their sugar intake limited. The bacteria in our mouths feed on sugar, forming plaque and causing tooth decay.
  • Avoid snacking. Whenever we eat we leave behind food residue on our teeth. Snacking or grazing allows food residue to remain on the teeth for prolonged periods of time, which can cause tooth decay and gum disease. If your child must have a snack, they should brush their teeth once they have finished eating.
  • Wear a mouthguard while playing sports.

For more information about children’s dental health, or to request a dental exam and cleaning for your child, please contact us.

Our Services

Visit Our Convenient
East Village Location

We would love for you to join our dental family! We are conveniently located in Calgary’s East Village. Street parking is available out front, and there is an Impark parking lot across the street.

For your added convenience we are pleased to offer service in both English and Spanish. We also offer Saturday appointments and are open late on Tuesdays until 8:30 pm.

Address

  • 540 6 Ave SE
  • Calgary, AB T2G 1K5

Contact Number

Hours

  • Monday8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Tuesday11:00 AM - 8:30 PM
  • Wednesday8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Thursday8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Friday8:00 AM - 3:00 PM
  • SaturdayBy Appointment
  • SundayClosed

You Can Have the Smile
You Always Wanted

Our smiles say so much about us, and a genuine smile is infectious! At Riverwalk Dental we work hard to give you the smile you’ve always wanted.

Could your smile use a bit of pampering? Request your next appointment today!

Teeth Whitening

Could your smile use a bit of TLC? Learn more about our teeth whitening services by visiting our Teeth Whitening page.

Teeth Whitening +

Skin Firming Treatment

Do you want to know if Skin Firming Treatment is right for you? Learn more on our Skin Firming Treatments page.

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Invisalign

Are you curious about Invisalign? Learn more by visiting our Invisalign page.

Invisalign +

Could your smile use a bit of TLC? Learn more about our teeth whitening services by visiting our Teeth Whitening page.

Do you want to know if Skin Firming Treatment is right for you? Learn more on our Skin Firming Treatments page.

Are you curious about Invisalign? Learn more by visiting our Invisalign page.

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