Dental care on infant and toddlers are often neglected due to one simple reason: their teeth are not yet permanent, so why should we invest our time (and money) to take care of these temporary baby teeth?
However, early dental care is very important to maintain healthy oral growth and your child’s overall health. The main risk surrounding oral health in early childhood is tooth decay (early dental caries), so let us begin by discussing the potential risks.
Early tooth decay or early dental caries refers to any development of tooth cavity in children between 6 months to 6 years of age.
Tooth decay in infancy and toddler age is also often referred to as baby bottle tooth decay, with the term “baby bottle” referring to the main cause of the tooth decay, which is sugary drinks that are commonly consumed through the baby bottle: milk, formula, juice, and so on.
Sugars can stain and cling to the toddler’s teeth for a long time, and when these sugars are processed by bacteria, the breakdown process will produce acids that can attack and destroy the teeth, slowly but surely.
Children whose pacifiers are dipped in sugar, syrup, or formula frequently are at an increased risk, as well as infants that are consuming sugary drinks before bed or at naptime. This, is due to the decreased production of saliva during sleep (saliva is the natural cleaner and antibacterial of our mouth).
Acid damage can cause decay or dental caries, and when left untreated, the decay can spread deeper and wider into the teeth, causing cavity and infection.
As mentioned above, many parents think that decay and damage in baby teeth are not worrisome, because, after all, they are temporary teeth.
However, there are several reasons why early tooth decay must be treated properly:
Baby bottle tooth decay can be caused by the following factors:
The risk of tooth decay is affected by how much sugar actually comes into contact with the teeth and gums, and how long it stays there. If, for example, the toddler has the habit of snacking or drinking sugary beverages between meals, the teeth are being exposed to sugars over and over again, increasing the associated risks for a cavity.
Also, it’s important to note that bacteria can easily transfer from the parent’s mouth to the child’s through saliva. Avoid sharing toothbrushes and flosses, tasting baby’s food with the same spoon, and licking pacifiers to clean them.
A few simple steps can help prevent baby bottle tooth decay, which mainly involves maintaining proper oral hygiene from an early age, such as:
It’s important to understand that different children might have a different schedule for growing their teeth. Typically, however, they will start teething around 6 months of age, and they should have all of their baby teeth (20 in total, 10 in the bottom jaw and 10 in the top) by 3 years of age.
In most cases, the bottom front teeth usually are the first ones to grow, and the molars are the last.
Yes, you can still use soothers or pacifiers to help your baby (or toddler) to sleep and other activities, but here are a few pointers:
As mentioned above, it’s recommended for children to visit the dentist around 6 months after the first tooth came in, or when they are around a year old.
The child’s first visit to the dentist can be a good time to detect potential risks or early signs for teeth cavities, and you can also discuss proper dental hygiene practices and healthy dietary habits.
Everyone here is very friendly and provides excellent care. I received a full exam on my first visit, and everyone took time to answer my questions and ensured I felt comfortable the entire time - exactly what you want when visiting the dentist. I highly recommend Markham Smile Centre for anyone looking for great dental care.
There is an ample parking space before you get into the office. The receptionists welcome us friendly with proper COVID-19 procedures in place. The staff worked with patient very patiently and professionally. My teeth cleaning was done by Ying, she explained every detail to me and I did not feel any pain or uncomfortable at all. Thanks to the best team !
It's been a while since I've been to a dentist but I'm trying to get back on track with health in general. Overall it was great going to Markham Smile Centre! The receptionist (I believe she was Kim) was friendly. The hygienist, Ying, was attentive and gentle during the cleaning; x-ray tech (forgot her name, sorry!) was great too. Dr. Sara Riad explained things with good detail. Looking forward to going back!
I was someone who was nervous and anxious about visiting the dentist, but the team at Markham Smile Centre has made me feel SO comfortable. Kim is so patient and helpful and Dr. Hwang and Rory are both so professional and wonderful. They thoroughly explain the procedure to make you comfortable beforehand and are very gentle. I now look forward to visiting the dentist!
I found this place on a whim when I was looking for a new dentist in Markham. My hygienist ying was super nice and her cleaning was very gentle yet thorough. I saw Dr.Jason and he was very nice and informative in regards to what needs to be done and provided me with all the information I needed to make a choice. Would recommend this place to anyone looking for a new dentist, they’re accepting new patients!!
I have been to many dentists in my life, Dr. Jason is easily the best dentist I have ever been too. He does everything he can to make you comfortable no matter the procedure and is a true professional, as does all the staff at Markham Smile Centre. Truly an amazing dentistry
The clinic was clean and the staff was very polite. I particularly liked the fact that everything was explained to me before going in for the procedure so I knew what to expect at each step. The dental hygienist who did the cleaning for me was also very gentle and took my concerns into consideration. I will definitely recommend them.
Upon arriving to the Markham Smile Centre, my son and I were greeted with a warm welcome by the receptionists. The hygienists and Dentist were very gentle and transparent with what they were doing. The hygienist that worked on my 9 year old son was patient and very friendly with him, which helped ease his nerves. Our overall experience was A+.
Since I was little, I have always hated going to the dentist... Its always uncomfortable and unpleasant. These days, visiting the dentist isn’t so bad! Dr Jason, Rory, and the lovely staff at reception make the experience 100x better. I have had absolutely no issues with the gum graft and cleanings that I’ve gotten done here. Everyone is incredibly friendly and helpful, even when I’m calling in or emailing a hundred questions :). I would highly recommend Markham Smile Centre.
Love this place! All the staffs are friendly and Professional and I mean all, cause I've been to most of their office, Markham , Stouffville, North York, and Maple. Dr. Ko is very professional and patient. Whenever I have questions and concerns he would always reply me . I would say this this dental office take care of you all the way. I would highly recommend everyone to come here for any dental works. =)