Skip to content
Sponsored Content

How to prevent childhood tooth decay and set your child up for success

Keeping good oral hygiene begins right from the time a baby is born
Dr. Amarjot Singh and Dr. Sukeerat Bajwa recently opened Gladwin Crossing Dental, in Abbotsford.

How early should you start an oral health routine with your child?

According to pediatric dentist Sukeerat Bajwa from Gladwin Crossing Dental in Abbotsford, oral hygiene routines should start from Day 1.

“The most common issue we see in young children is baby bottle caries (cavities), which are easily preventable,” says Dr. Bajwa, who shares her insights as both a pediatric dentist and a mother.

“Avoid putting your child to bed with a bottle when possible, but most importantly, clean their mouth after every feeding. Avoiding sugary drinks or snacks in the diet of children younger than two years of age goes a long way in not just maintaining good oral health but also avoiding other issues such as obesity. If your child does have juice or another high-sugar snack, it is essential to clean their mouth afterwards,” she says.

How can you prevent early childhood tooth decay?

Before your child’s first tooth erupts, a clean, soft cloth is all you need to keep their mouth healthy, but after that first baby tooth makes its appearance, it’s time to pick up a baby-safe toothpaste and toothbrush.

“Once you see that first tooth erupting in the baby’s mouth, it’s time to start upping your oral hygiene game and get ahead of early childhood tooth decay,” Bajwa says.“Regular brushing with a rice-grain-sized amount of infant-safe toothpaste is vital – after every feeding is ideal, but if you find you’re struggling to keep up, try setting a reminder in your phone or smart device to brush their teeth at least twice a day.”

Throughout the rest of their childhood, regular brushing with an appropriate amount of fluoride toothpaste, along with daily flossing, can help prevent cavities from forming. Early childhood cavities often appear like white or brown spots on a child’s teeth, generally forming on their front teeth first but can quickly spread throughout the mouth.

When should children first visit their dentist?

Bajwa suggests visiting the dentist at the time of eruption of the first tooth and no later than a child’s first birthday.Dentists can provide insight on what to expect with teething and suggestions on oral hygiene, diet recommendations, early oral health and tooth decay prevention at this first visit.

“Along with regular oral hygiene care at home, it is still important that your child visits the dentist regularly. If your child’s first visit is due to pain or dental problems, it can result in a lifelong anxiety around dental visits,” Bajwa says. .

“But if we can see children before their teeth show signs of disease or decay, not only can we help prevent those issues, we can also help them learn that visiting the dentist doesn’t have to be a scary or painful experience.”

Book your child in for their next dental appointment at Gladwin Crossing Dental online here or over the phone at 604-743-2113. They are located at 101-2777 Gladwin Rd. in Abbotsford and you can also find them on Facebook or Instagram.

Read More: Odontophobia aka the fear of…?