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Tips to Prevent Children from Thumb Sucking

Many babies and children start sucking their thumbs during their first year and the behaviour naturally comes to a stop when they reach three to six years old. During early years, this habit is considered normal since it provides young ones of 6-12 months relief from tooth eruption pain. During the teething phase, some babies may be given teething rings or pacifiers. While tooth development varies among children, it can be expected that most of them will have their first set of milk teeth by the time they are three years old. From birth to the teething stage, it is normal for babies to suck their thumbs. However, if you notice your child sucking their thumb well into elementary school, the habit could lead to possible dental and speech problems in the future.   To stop children from constantly sucking their thumb, here are tips on how to wean them from this habit:   1. Provide distractions and boundaries. Notice when your child starts to suck on his/her thumb. Usually children do this to comfort themselves when they feel hungry, afraid, restless, sleepy, or bored. In rare cases, some children […]

Oral Care for Teething Babies

One of the first milestones that babies reach within their first year is the eruption of new teeth. The important developmental stage of “teething” usually occurs between the ages of three to fourteen months. Signs and symptoms vary from child to child. During this period, some babies may feel lingering pain and show irritability while others do not. If you suspect your child may be teething, here are a few signs:     Excessive drooling Swollen gum tissue or noticeable lump on gums Refusal to eat food or be bottle fed Irritability Restlessness or inability to sleep during usual times Constant chewing on solid items While most of these signs (often a combination of two or more) usually indicate your child is teething, they may also indicate another condition. If you suspect the latter, contact your pediatrician immediately. Another thing to consider during this stage is the possibility your baby’s behaviour may overwhelm you. Since this period is critical, it is important that parents introduce basic oral care early on:     1. Start basic oral care before they start to teethe. Clean your baby’s gums frequently to get rid […]

Five Ways to Control Anxiety

Dental anxiety can be a common feeling prior to and during a regular cleaning or dentist appointment. If you are nervous about getting proper oral health care, there are several things you can do to lessen anxiety: 1. Tell the Dentist Letting your dentist know about concerns and fears will allow them to help you and talk about options, such as sedation. Informing your doctor can also help you feel safer, lessening anxiety in the process. 2. Focus on Breathing Nervousness can cause some of us to hold our breath, decreasing oxygen levels and increasing panicky feelings. Maintain steady and deep breaths to reduce anxiety. Some people also find that mentally repeating simple mantras like “I am okay” or “I am safe” helps significantly in lowering stress. 3. Listen to Relaxing Music If the sound of drills or other tools bother you, listening to your favourite tunes can help you relax. Bringing your music player and headphones and concentrating on music can calm nerves. 4. Set Your Appointment at a “Low-Stress” Time Choose the time during the day when you are most relaxed for a dental appointment. Does morning rush […]

Child Tooth Care

Many of us are aware that eating too many sugary desserts and drinks can lead to cavities (and potentially cause infection) if problems are ignored. Keep your child cavity-free by following these key steps: 1. Teach your child the importance of dental health. As young people grow, great caregivers teach the importance of hygiene and overall health. Brushing and flossing keeps teeth and gums healthy, makes eating and talking easier, and makes our bodies strong.   2. Encourage water drinking and “swishing” after eating sweets/fruit. Drinking and flushing the mouth with water after eating sugary (or acidic) foods and drinks washes away the “bad things” that might cling to teeth. Water also prevents dehydration, which can cause bad breath.     3. Make oral care fun. Use this teaching opportunity to bond with your child by setting a brush time after each meal. Hum or sing a fun song while brushing. Ask them to choose a song you can both enjoy together. (Remember to floss!)     4. Encourage them to smile. When your child shows off the great care they take with their teeth, they will feel proud. You […]

“Shark Teeth” in Toddlers: Cause for Concern?

Some parents may feel a slight panic if they notice the appearance of two rows of teeth forming in their toddler’s mouth. These teeth are sometimes referred to as “shark teeth” and can be a normal event in children’s physical development. Find out more about this situation, why shark teeth occur and if a trip to the dentist is needed when they appear. 1. What Are Shark Teeth? Shark teeth can occur during two periods in a child’s development. At six years old, the permanent lower incisors erupt behind baby teeth. This also happens at 11 years old when the upper back molars appear. When this happens, two rows of teeth may be visible, just as sharks have double rows of teeth. 2. Why Do Shark Teeth Occur? In normal circumstances, baby teeth are slowly replaced by permanent teeth and then fall out. The permanent teeth then move into the vacated space. Sometimes there is not enough space in a toddler’s mouth for the newer teeth or the permanent tooth fails to exert pressure needed to push out a baby tooth. In these cases, the new tooth will position itself […]

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