Kids Dentistry Ottawa - Dentist in Ottawa - Ottawa Dentistry

Kids Dentistry Ottawa
Pregnancy and Dental Health

Keeping your teeth and gums healthy during pregnancy has many benefits for you and your baby.

Did you know…

  • Morning sickness can leave stomach acids in your mouth that can damage the surfaces of your teeth and promote tooth decay
  • Changes in hormone levels during pregnancy can cause swollen gums that bleed during brushing and flossing, often known as “pregnancy gingivitis”
  • If you have gum disease or an infection you may be at risk of having a premature or low birth-weight baby

What can you do to help?

  • Brush your teeth and your gums with a soft toothbrush twice a day, using a pea size amount of fluoride toothpaste.  Also, gently brush your tongue.
  • Gently floss daily to remove plaque from between your teeth and gums.  If your gums bleed, keep on glossing.
  • Eat healthy nutritious food and avoid sweets
  • If you gag, use a small, child-size toothbrush and lean your head down and over the sink

Visiting the dentist and the hygienist

  • Regular dental cleanings and check-ups are important before, during and after pregnancy
  • Be sure to tell your dentist that you are pregnant
  • You may want to postpone routine dental radiograph until after your baby is born
  • Should you dentist recommend an emergency radiograph, the dental office will provide a leaded apron to shield you and your baby from this low dose while brushing.  It helps relax the throat and allows the saliva to flow out.

Morning Sickness

  • Nausea and vomiting can happen during pregnancy.  Causes of morning sickness include changes in hormone levels, tension, worry or fatigue.
  • Try eating unsalted crackers or dry toast before getting out of bed in the morning
  • Rinse your mouth with tap water, or a fluoride mouth rinse after vomiting, which will protect your teeth from damaging stomach acids
  • If vomiting persists, notify your doctor


Teething is the natural process of teeth working their way Through the jaw bone and cutting through the gums.

Signs of teething

  • Change in appetite and sleep patterns
  • Urge to chew and bite
  • Irritability
  • Excessive drooling

Usual time for primary teeth to appear

  • Each child is different and may not follow the exact time chart
  • The first tooth normally comes in between 6 and 10 months
  • By age 2 ½ to 3 years, children usually have 20 baby teeth
  • At about 6 years of age a child starts to get their permanent (adult) teeth.
  • The 1st adult molar grows in behind the baby teeth.

What you can do to care for your teething child

  • Massage the irritated or swollen gums with a clean finger
  • Use a wet cloth chilled in the refrigerator to massage the gums
  • Offer a safe teething ring that has been chilled (not frozen)
  • Do not use over-the-counter baby gum numbing gels.  They contain a strong anaesthetic that is difficult to control, which may numb the entire mouth and the baby’s throat.  This will suppress the gag reflex, interfering with baby’s swallowing and may result in choking.
  • Do not give teething biscuits, they are high in sugar and can cause cavities, especially in new baby teeth.  The biscuits also get soft and mushy and may become a choking hazard for the baby.

Caution: If your kids has a fever, funny nose or diarrhea, these are not typical signs of Teething.  Call your doctor.

Baby Teeth are Important

Dental health for kids from birth to 5 years old.

Plaque grows in the baby's mouth even before the first tooth erupts and it is important to start good hygiene habits early. Baby teeth are important for eating, talking, smiling, and holding a place for adult teeth.

Your baby's first visit to the dentist should occur at the age of one year, or when the first teeth appear

Help your kid learn good dental habits

  • Wipe your baby's gums morning and night (or more) with a clean washcloth
  • If baby falls asleep while feeding, gently remove the nipple before placing baby to sleep in the crib on its back .
  • If your baby sleeps with a bottle, only use water As soon as your baby's teeth appear, brush them at least twice a day with a small, soft toothbrush with tap water only (no toothpaste)
  • Continue to help your child brush until the age of 8
  • Once a month, lift your baby's top lip to check for cavities. Look at the front and back of the top four teeth, especially around the gum line. If you see white or brown spots, take your baby to the dentist.
  • Give your baby water to drink in a plastic cup when he or she can sit up alone
  • Wean your baby from the bottle by 9 to 12 months
  • A sippy cup should only be used for water
  • Never dip a soother in syrup, honey, or other sweeteners before giving it to your baby. This can cause cavities.
  • Do not put your baby's soother or spoon in your mouth; this will pass bacteria that cause cavities.
  • Begin flossing once a day when your child has teeth that are touching
  • At 3 years of age, start using fluoride toothpaste . Use a small, soft toothbrush with a very small amount of toothpaste to brush your child's teeth. Make sure your child does not swallow the toothpaste.

Help your child learn good eating habits

  • Give your child healthy foods and snacks like fruits, vegetables, cheese and white milk Offer your child tap water for thirst between meals
  • Limit juice to special occasions and only serve it at mealtime. Even natural sugar causes cavities.
  • Limit sweets and drinks to special occasions, and brush your child's teeth after eating sugary or sticky foods.

Need more information?

Talk to your dentist or dental hygienist or call the Ottawa Public Health Information Line at 613-580-6744.

10/2010, I 613-580-6744,  I TTY/ATS: 613-580-965


Birth to Five Years

Patient Fact Sheet

Dental health care for kids five and under is essential for developing proper oral health habits that will lead to a lifetime of exemplary oral health care. Here’s how you can ensure your child has healthy teeth in the future:

1. Understand that first teeth are vital to permanent teeth development.

Your child’s first teeth are vital in helping your child eat and learn to speak properly. Healthy teeth are also important for a child to develop a good self-image. The baby teeth hold a space in the jaw for the adult teeth and guide them into position. Some first teeth provide a proper chewing surface until age twelve or thirteen. If a baby tooth is lost too early, the adult tooth (which replaces it) may not be guided into the proper position and may cause adult teeth to come in crooked or crowded.

2. Start with positive infant feeding habits and good nutrition.

Provide a varied and healthy diet to ensure that your child gets sufficient amounts of minerals, calcium and phosphorus, and vitamins A, C and D to ensure proper tooth development and strength. Practice smart snacking; choose something without sugar – nuts and seeds, cheese or pizza – for your child’s between-meal snacks and save the sweets for mealtimes when increased saliva flow helps neutralize the effects of sugar.

3. Guard against baby bottle decay and excessive thumb-sucking.

Baby bottle decay can occur when a baby falls asleep with a bottle containing a sweet liquid like juice, formula or milk. Even drinks that are good for your baby contain different types of sugar that can be harmful to baby teeth. When allowed to pool during sleep, sugary or carbohydrate-rich liquids can lead to cavities, tooth loss, infections or more serious problems. Watch for dull white spots or lines on the teeth, particularly on the tongue side. Dark or discoloured teeth may be the sign of a more serious problem. To avoid baby bottle decay, use only water in your infant’s bottle at bedtime and do not dip your child’s pacifier in sweet liquids such as honey or sugar.

While it is true that sucking is one of babies’ natural reflexes – relaxing, comforting and feeding them – the need for sucking usually decreases after the age of two or three and has minimal long-term effects on permanent teeth. But sometimes, prolonged and vigorous sucking after the age of five can cause problems with dental development. If you are concerned about your child’s sucking, talk to your dentist.

4. Brush and floss your child’s teeth until he or she is able.

A child’s teeth need to be brushed and gums massaged when teething starts and the first tooth appears. It is good practice to clean the area of the gums where there aren’t any teeth with a wet face cloth. For children under three, brush your child’s teeth with a child-sized toothbrush and plain water. For children over three, use only a pea-size amount of toothpaste but ensure your child spits rather than swallows the toothpaste. When your child has the manual dexterity, encourage your child to brush his or her own teeth, but you should brush them yourself afterwards to ensure that a good and thorough job is done.

Flossing is also important for baby teeth because it enables you to clean between the teeth where the toothbrush can’t reach and where most cavities and gum disease start. You will probably have to floss for them until they are eight or nine years old because of the greater co-ordination necessary.

5. Schedule your child’s first dental visit sooner than later.

The first visit with the dentist should take place as soon as the first tooth is erupted. It is important to introduce a child to the dentist before a problem develops so your child can develop positive feelings about his or her dentist. You want your child to be relaxed and happy rather than frightened and in discomfort and you want to be able to discuss any dental care issues you may have. Visit the kids dentist every six months to check for cavities and proper tooth development.

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Remember that, as a parent, you have a vital role to play as teacher and motivator. With your support, your child can develop excellent oral health habits that will last a lifetime.

Last Updated On 2021-09-25