Forming Good Dental Habits

The early dental habits your child develops can last a lifetime and as your child grows, and maintaining good oral health is essential to their physical development.

As kids grow older, regular visits to the dentist will encourage proper dental hygiene, emphasize the link between diet and cavities, and teach injury prevention. At Downtown Nanaimo Dental Group, we understand the importance of giving your child the right start and we do our best to make this easy and smooth for parents.

Catch Correctable Problems Early

Part of the importance for children to start visiting the dentist early is also about catching correctable problems early.  Crowded teeth and irregular bites due to narrow jaws or underdeveloped lower jaws can often be corrected if caught early.

The ideal age for the use of functional appliances to correct these types of problems is between ages seven and eleven when their level of cooperation is the highest. However, functional appliances can be utilized as early as age 4, if the upper jaw is too narrow and is having a negative effect on the child’s breathing and speech.

The Benefits of Children’s Appliances

Functional appliances develop the dental arches so that all the permanent teeth can erupt, which ensures an outstanding profile, broad smile and healthy jaw joints. As another great benefit, the use of functional appliances can reduce the time the child must wear fixed braces and also can reduce the need for the extraction of permanent teeth. Read more about orthodontics for children and teens.

Dental Services for Your Child

For your children, our Downtown Nanaimo Dental Group team of dental professionals provides the following children’s dental services:

  • preventative treatment and hygiene
  • tips on brushing and flossing, including tips for teething babies and brushing for infants
  • orthodontic assessments
  • custom-fitted sports mouthguards for children and teens
  • emergency care for kids
  • teaching and instilling a sense of good oral hygiene and preventative dental maintenance
  • cosmetic consultations for teens and young adults

Tips for Good Oral Health in Children

  • Start early by cleaning your baby’s gums before their first tooth comes in.
  • Brush your child’s teeth twice a day using a soft brush and non-fluoride toothpaste until the age of 2
  • Supervise your child’s brushing until you are comfortable with them doing it themselves.  This often means supervising until age 5 – 6.
  • After your child’s bedtime brushing make sure they do not drink anything besides water or eat before bed.  Foods or sugary drinks at night are a leading cause of decay and cavities in young teeth!
  • Once your child’s teeth have grown in, your child can start flossing.  Flossing is essential for cleaning the spaces between teeth where cavities often begin.
  • Talk to your Downtown Nanaimo Dental Group dentist about dental sealants for permanent molars to reduce cavities in these types of teeth

Set Your Child Up for Success

When Should My Child Begin to Go to the Dentist?

When a child is three years old they should be brought for an examination. Then, they should be brought every year until adult teeth start coming up. Keeping the appointments easy by bringing a child at a young age, will keep their dental appointments short and easy. This will turn them into a patient who enjoys coming to the dentist.

Before the First Dental Visit

We encourage you to bring your child with you or with their siblings for your dental appointments. This is an easy, non-stressful way to familiarize your child with our staff and make them comfortable with our office.

The First Dental Visit

To prepare your child for his or her first visit, try role-playing with them at home.  Count your child’s teeth, and have them count yours. Explain that the dentist might take some pictures of their teeth with a special camera. The most important thing is to treat the appointment as a regular part of life, like going to the doctor for a check-up. This begins to develop a habit for your child that will bring them a lifetime of good oral health.

Nothing but Positive!

It is important to speak positively about going to the dentist in every way.  In fact with all of the advances in modern dentistry and especially in pain management, there really is no need to fear the dentist.  Children are naturally positive and will typically reflect back your own attitudes about things.  So try having fun with a trip to the dentist and see how your child responds!

Rewarding Good Behavior

We enjoy giving prizes to kids after their visit to the dentist. Encourage your child to ask for a prize after their visit.  More than a prize, however, we all thrive on positive feedback. We will make sure that your child gets lots of positive feedback. Positive feedback from you is also greatly encouraged.

The goal of our dentist  Dr. San Mahara, hygienists, and office staff at Downtown Nanaimo Dental Group is to make your child’s experience as positive as possible and to ensure that every child we treat grows up with a healthy smile and the education they need to maintain good oral health and prevent disease.

Please contact us to book an appointment for your child or other family members today!