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Frequently Asked Questions about Dental Care for Kids in Winnipeg

Learn more about dental care for kids and the steps you should take to ensure your child is on the right track for a healthy smile. If you have a question that is not listed here, please don’t hesitate to contact the team at Children’s Dental Centre.


What is a pediatric dentist?

Pediatric dentists are the pediatricians of dentistry. A pediatric dentist has two to three years specialty training following dental school and limits his/her practice to treating children. Pediatric dentists are primary and specialty oral care providers for infants and children through adolescence, including those with special health needs.


When should I take my child to the dentist for the first check-up?

We recommend that your child visits their pediatric dentist as soon as they get their first tooth. The Canadian Dental Association recommends that a child be seen by 6 months after his/her first tooth erupts or by 1 year old, whichever is first.


How can I prepare my child for their first dental visit?

The best preparation for your child’s first dental visit to our office is maintaining a positive attitude. Children pick up on adults’ apprehensions and if you make negative comments about trips to the dentist, you can be sure that your child will bear an unpleasant experience and act accordingly. Show your child pictures of the office on the web site. Let your child know that it’s important to keep their teeth and gums healthy, and that the pediatric dentist will help them do that. Remember that your pediatric dentist is specially trained to handle fears and anxiety, and our staff is very dedicated to putting your child at ease during treatment.

Why is it important to take special care of baby teeth?

Your child’s first teeth play an important role in their development. Primary teeth help your child to speak, smile and chew properly. They also hold space in the jaw for permanent teeth. If your child loses a tooth too early from damage or decay, nearby teeth may encroach on that space, which can result in crooked or misplaced permanent teeth. Also, our child’s general health is affected by the oral health of the teeth and gums.


How often does my child need to see their pediatric dentist?

We follow the Canadian Dental Association guidelines. We recommend scheduling checkups every six months in order to help prevent cavities and other dental problems.


What should I do if my child sucks their thumbs?

The large majority of children suck their thumbs or fingers as infants and most grow out of it by the age of four, without causing permanent damage to their teeth. If your child continues to suck their thumb after permanent teeth erupt; or sucks aggressively, let us know. We can check to see if any problems may arise from the habit.

Toothpaste: when should we begin, and how much should we use?

If your child is unable to spit out all of their toothpaste, then a non-fluoridated toothpaste should be used. When fluoridated toothpaste is used, parents should supervise brushing and make sure the child uses no more than a pea-sized amount on the brush. Children should spit out excess toothpaste after brushing, not swallow it.


What are dental sealants?

A dental sealant is a thin coating that is applied to the biting surfaces of the back teeth. Sealants fill in the pits and fissures of those molars and premolars. This helps keep food particles and plaque off of the deep grooves of the teeth. Sealants form a smooth surface that is easy to clean. However, the covering is only for the biting surface of the tooth – areas on the sides and between the teeth cannot be coated with sealants. Therefore, good oral hygiene, flossing, and a good diet are still very important.


What can I do to protect my child’s teeth during sporting events?

Mouth guards help cushion blows that might otherwise cause fractured teeth and injuries to the lips, tongue, face or jaw.


There are currently three types of mouth guards on the market that vary in comfort and cost: ready-made, mouth-formed or “boil and bite”, and custom-made mouth guards which are professionally designed at our office and considered the best fit. The most effective mouth guard should be resilient, tear-resistant and comfortable. It should fit properly, be durable, and not restrict your child’s speech or breathing. Our office can suggest the right mouth guard for your child.


How can parents help prevent tooth decay?

Parents should take their children to their pediatric dentist regularly, beginning with the eruption of the first tooth. Then, the pediatric dental team can recommend a specific program of brushing, flossing, and other treatments for parents to supervise and teach to their children. Regular brushing and flossing, when added to regular dental visits and a balanced diet, will help give your child a lifetime of healthy habits.

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