Dental Factsheets and Resources

 

Athletic Mouthguard

A mouthguard is a piece of equipment that fits over the upper teeth to reduce the risk of injury to the teeth when you play sports and recreational activities (hockey, soccer, football, martial arts, basketball, baseball and many more).

Did you know?

A simple action like wearing a mouthguard could mean the difference between a minor injury and severe trauma to your teeth, which could be very painful and expensive to treat.

Important features:

  • Should be at least 3mm thick to keep the jaws separated
  • Should be comfortable
  • Person should be able to breathe and speak easily
  • Should stay in place by itself

Types:

1.Custom-fitted:

Created by a dental professional from an impression of the person’s teeth. It provides the best protection due to their close comfort fit and shock reducing effect.

2.Boil-and-bite:

Purchased in stores and molded at home. The material is softened inboiling water and then formed directly on the upper teeth. Can be uncomfortable if not properly fitted. It provides limited protection.

3.Stock or ready-to-wear:

Purchased in sporting stores. It comes ready-made and provides the least amount of protection, fit and comfort.

Maintenance and care of the mouthguard:

  • Rinse with cold water or mouthwash after each use and occasionally clean with mild soap under cold water
  • Store in a ventilated and rigid container
  • Wear correctly and do not chew or share
  • Replace every 2 or 3 years or sooner if torn, loose or if child looses baby teeth
  • Take it to your dental visits

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Baby Teeth are Important

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.

Help your child learn good dental habits:

  • Help your child 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 withtap 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
  • If your baby uses a bottle, wean by 9 to 12 months
  • A sippy cup should only be used for water
  • If your baby uses a soother, do not put it in your mouth; this will pass bacteria that cause cavities
  • Never dip a soother in syrup, honey, or other sweeteners before giving it to your baby. This can cause cavities
  • Your baby’s first visit to the dentist should occur at the age of one year, or when the first teeth appear
  • 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 stickyfoods

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Brushing Method

Helpful suggestions on how to brush your teeth

  1. Place the bristles of the toothbrush where the gums and teeth meet. Gently brush in small circles, and then sweep away from the gum. Repeat method to all outside (cheek side) surfaces. 
  2. Brush the inside (tongue side) surfaces using the same method.
  3. To clean the inside surface of the front teeth, tilt the toothbrush vertically and sweep away from the gum.
  4. Scrub the top (chewing) surfaces back and forth.
  5. Brush your tongue gently from back to front.

Helpful suggestions

  • Use a small, soft bristled toothbrush to easily move around your mouth
  • Use no more than a pea size amount of fluoridated toothpaste
  • Brush twice a day (in the morning and before bedtime)
  • Gently brush for 2 to 3 minutes, no hard scrubbing
  • Rinse toothbrush after use and let air-dry
  • Change toothbrush every 3 months. Replace it sooner if you are sick or if bristles are worn
  • Floss once a day
  • Visit your dentist or hygienist regularly

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Dental Health Resource Bin

Ottawa Public Health’s Dental Health Program offers bilingual dental health curriculum resources.

Dental Health Resource Bins for schools and child care facilities contain:

  • Videos, books, posters, dental models, computer software, and a Dental Health Education Module
  • Healthy nutrition ideas
  • Tips for the prevention of sports injuries

Dental Health Education Module:

Includes lesson plans, activity sheets, background information, evaluation tools, parent information and websites for grades one to four.

The lesson plans meet the Ontario Ministry of Education under Health and Physical Education curriculum.

The module is simple to use:

  • Read the lesson plan
  • Photocopy the activity sheets
  • Give the lesson using resources provided
  • Evaluate learning using assessment tools
  • Send information to parents to promote dental health at home

How to book the Dental Health Resource Bin?

Schools: Contact your school nurse or call the School Health Intake Line at 613-580-6744, ext. 24242

Child Care Facilities: Call the Ottawa Public Health Information Line at 613-580-6744 to be transferred to the Dental Health Promotion Team.

[PDF 218 KB ]

Early Childhood Tooth Decay

Early Childhood Tooth Decay (ECTD) are cavities found in children younger than 6 years of age usually found in the upper front teeth.

Even though your child’s baby teeth are temporary, it is still important to take care of them

At birth, babies have very few germs in their mouth that cause cavities, but ECTD can develop when:

  • Germs are introduced into a child’s mouth by parents/caregivers by sharing utensils or licking soothers.
  • Babies or young children are frequently exposed to liquids that contain sugar, for example when falling asleep while feeding. During the feeding, the sugar in liquids combines with germs in the mouth producing an acid that damages the tooth’s hard outer layer (enamel) which leads to cavities.

Prevent ECTD:

  • Lift your baby’s top lip to check for cavities at least once a month.
  • Wipe your baby’s gums with a clean washcloth in the morning, at night and after feeding.
  • If your baby falls asleep while feeding, gently remove the nipple before placing your baby to sleep.
  • 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, softtoothbrush with only tap water (no toothpaste).
  • Avoid sharing utensils with your baby or putting their soother in your mouth.
  • Offer tap water to your child between meals.
  • Visit a dentist with your baby by age one.

If you see white or brown spots on your baby’s teeth, take your child to the dentist.

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Flossing Method

Helpful steps on how to floss your teeth

  1. Measure and cut a piece of floss equal to the distance of your hand to your elbow. Wrap the floss three times around the tip of the middle finger and the remaining floss around the opposite middle finger.
  2. Use the index finger or the thumb to guide and slide the floss between your teeth.
  3. Gently insert the floss between the teeth by moving it back and forth in a see-saw motion. Do not press down hard since you may cut the gum.
  4. Wrap the tooth with floss in a “C” shape. Move the floss up and down the side of the tooth surface and gently under the gumline. Repeat on the next tooth.

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Fluoride

What is fluoride?

Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral found in water, soil and in some foods.

Why is fluoride important?

Fluoride hardens and protects tooth enamel against cavities.

Where can I find fluoride?

Fluoride can be found in toothpaste, mouth rinse, treatments from your dentist or hygienist and tap water. The City of Ottawa monitors and adjusts the fluoride level in the drinking water supply to a concentration of 0.7 mg/L in tap water. This level has been determined to provide optimal dental health benefits, in accordance with the Health Canada recommendations. Water fluoridation is endorsed by reputable health organizations throughout the world including the World Health Organization, Health Canada and the Ontario Medical Association.

The City of Ottawa does not adjust the fluoride level of the five communal well systems (Carp, Munster, Richmond, Shadow Ridge and Vars).

Most disposable water filters do not remove fluoride from drinking water. Check the label or contact the manufacturer for fluoride levels in bottled water.

Well and spring water

Free testing of water fluoride levels is available if you are on well water or spring water. Call 613-580-6744, ext. 23806 for a free water test bottle and instructions.

How do I get the right amount of fluoride?

Birth to 3 years old

Do not use toothpaste. Wipe gums or brush teeth with tap water after feedings and before bed.
If the child is determined to be at risk of developing tooth decay by a dental professional, use no more than a grain of rice size amount of fluoridated toothpaste twice per day.

3 to 6 years old

Use no more than a green pea size amount of fluoridated toothpaste twice per day. 

Remember...

  • Toothpaste should never be swallowed
  • All products containing fluoride such as toothpaste, rinses, and gels must be stored out of reach of children
  • Supervise children when they are using theseproducts

Healthy teeth lead to a healthy body. You can keep your teeth for life.

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Fluoride Varnish

Fluoride applied to teeth strengthens tooth enamel and helps prevent, stop and reverse cavities. Painted on the tooth, this high fluoride concentration product helps strengthen the outer enamel (outer layer of the tooth).

Fluoride Varnish Application:

  • Takes a few minutes to apply and dries quickly
  • Does not taste bad
  • Can temporarily reduce tooth sensitivity

After the fluoride varnish application:

  • Teeth will have a white appearance and feel sticky for 24 hours
  • Do not eat hot, hard or sticky foods for the rest of the day
  • Do not brush your teeth until the next morning

How long does fluoride varnish last?

  • The fluoride keeps working for several months to protect and strengthen teeth
  • Works best if applied at least 2 times a year

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Growing Teeth are Important

Growing teeth are important for eating, talking, smiling, and for keeping space for the adult teeth to grow.

Tips for good dental habits:

  • Brush your child’s teeth and tongue in the morning and before bedtime.
  • Use a small soft toothbrush with no more than a pea size amount of fluoridated toothpaste. Make sure your child does not swallow the toothpaste.
  • Remind your child to brush the large back teeth (molars); they are meant to last a lifetime.
  • Help with brushing until child is 8 years old.
  • Floss your child’s teeth before bed. They will not be able to floss effectively until approximately 10 years of age.
  • Do not let your child share a spoon, cup, or toothbrush; this will pass the bacteria that cause cavities.
  • Have your child wear a mouth guard when playing a sport or recreational activity (hockey, soccer, football and many more).
  • Take your child to the dentist regularly or when you have any concerns.

Tips for good eating habits:

  • Give your child healthy foods and snacks like fruits, vegetables, cheese and white milk.
  • Offer tap water between meals.
  • Limit juice to special occasions as the natural sugar found in juice causes cavities.
  • Avoid soft drinks, sport drinks, energy drinks, flavoured milks, iced teas, lemonades, cocktails, and punches. They are loaded with sugar and drinking them frequently can lead to cavities.

Talk to your dentist about sealing the pits and grooves of your child’s molars with a protective coating.

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Gum Disease and Diabetes

Gum disease is an inflammation (swelling) of the gums that damages soft tissues and destroys bone. This can cause teeth to become loose and eventually fall out.

How does diabetes affect your mouth?

  • Increases the amount of plaque (sticky film that forms on your teeth every day)
  • Causes your gums to bleed more easily
  • Makes it easier to get an infection and harder to heal
  • Leads to dry mouth that causes sores inyour mouth
  • Causes bad breath

How does gum disease affect your diabetes?

  • Raises your blood sugar which can make it more difficult to control your diabetes
  • Puts you at risk for other problems related to diabetes, such as in your heart, eyes, or kidneys

What can you do?

  • Keep your blood sugar at the target levels set by your health care provider
  • Avoid tobacco (smoking, chewing, vaping, etc.) because this can make diabetes and gum disease worse
  • Limit sugars and alcohol, and follow the Canada’s Food Guide or the specific advice of your health care provider
  • Brush twice a day using toothpaste with fluoride and floss once a day
  • Watch for changes in your mouth
  • Visit your dental health care provider regularly and talk to them about your diabetes
  • Drink tap water because it contains fluoride

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Keep Your Teeth for Life
 
Dental health for adults
Bacteria in your mouth from oral disease may contribute to other health problems such as heart disease, stroke, respiratory diseases, and diabetes. Pregnant women who have gum disease are at higher risk of delivering pre-term and low birth weight babies.

Tips for good dental habits

  • Brush your teeth and tongue after breakfast and before bedtime
  • Use a soft toothbrush with no more than a pea size amount of fluoridated toothpaste
  • Floss daily before bedtime
  • Check your mouth regularly for signs of gum disease such as red, swollen and bleeding gums
  • Check your mouth regularly for signs of oral cancer such as any abnormal growth or lesion that lasts for more than 2 weeks
  • Avoid tobacco products. They will stain your teeth and tongue, cause bad breath, and increase your risk of developing oral cancer
  • Visit the dentist regularly and when you have any concerns

Tips for good eating habits

  • Eat healthy food and snacks like fruits, vegetables, cheese and drink white milk
  • Drink tap water between meals
  • Limit juice to special occasions as the natural sugar found in juice causes cavities
  • Avoid soft drinks, sport drinks, energy drinks, flavoured milks, iced teas, lemonades, cocktails, and punches. They are loaded with sugar and drinking them frequently can lead to cavities
  • Limit the sugar in your tea or coffee
  • Avoid sucking on candy or chewing gum for a long period of time
  • Limit alcohol, it increases the risk of oral cancer

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Dental health for seniors 
Dental care is important for seniors because bacteria in the mouth from oral disease may contribute to other health problems such as heart disease, stroke, respiratory diseases, and diabetes.

Tips for good dental habits:

  • Brush your natural teeth and tongue after breakfast and before bedtime
  • Use a soft toothbrush with no more than apea size amount of fluoridated toothpaste
  • Floss daily before bedtime
  • Brush your dentures after each meal
  • Remove your dentures at night to let the tissues breathe
  • To ensure the health of your tissues and gums, a regular check-up is needed even if you have very few remaining teeth or no natural teeth
  • If your mouth is often dry we recommend you talk to a dentist about ways to help keep your mouth moist
  • Check your mouth regularly for signs of gum disease such as red, swollen and bleeding gums
  • Check your mouth regularly for signs of oral cancer such as any abnormal growths or lesions that last for more than 2 weeks
  • Avoid tobacco products. They will stain your teeth and tongue, cause bad breath, and increase your risk of developing oral cancer
  • Visit the dentist regularly or when you haveany concerns

Tips for good eating habits:

  • Eat healthy food and snacks like fruits,vegetables, cheese and drink white milk
  • Drink tap water between meals
  • Limit juice to special occasions as the natural sugar found in juice causes cavities
  • Avoid soft drinks, sport drinks, energy drinks, flavoured milks, iced teas, lemonades, cocktails, and punches. They are loaded with sugar and drinking them frequently can lead to cavities
  • Limit the sugar in your tea or coffee
  • Avoid sucking on candy or chewing gum for a long period of time
  • Limit alcohol, it increases the risk of oral cancer

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Dental health for youth
Adult teeth are important for chewing food, speaking properly, smiling, looking great and for overall good health

Tips for good dental habits

  • Brush your teeth in the morning and before bedtime
  • Use a soft toothbrush with no more than a pea size amount of fluoridated toothpaste
  • Floss daily before bedtime
  • Wear a mouth guard when playing a sport or recreational activity (hockey, soccer, football and many more).
  • When wisdom teeth erupt they can cause pain if they do not have enough space. Talk to your dentist for more information
  • Vomiting associated with an eating disorder will increase the risk of cavities and gum disease
  • Oral piercing and tooth jewels can produce inflammation, infection, and bleeding. They can also cause teeth and nerve damage
  • Avoid tobacco products. They will stain your teeth and tongue, cause bad breath, and increase your risk of developing oral cancer
  • Visit the dentist regularly or when you have any concerns

Tips for good eating habits

  • Eat healthy foods and snacks like fruits, vegetables, cheese and drink white milk
  • Eat or drink 3-4 servings from the milk and alternatives food group. Calcium continues to play an important role throughout your life
  • Drink tap water between meals
  • Limit juice to special occasions as the natural sugar found in juice causes cavities
  • Avoid sport drinks, energy drinks, soft drinks, flavoured milks, iced teas, lemonades, cocktails, and punches. They are loaded with sugar and drinking them frequently can lead to cavities
  • Avoid sucking on candy or chewing gum fora long period of time

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Non-Food Rewards for Students

Food is a commonly used, easy and inexpensive way to reward students for good behaviour and classroom success…with many negative consequences. It can teach students to eat when they’re not hungry, increase the risk for tooth decay and cause students to associate good behaviour with less healthy food choices.

Satisfaction for a job well done, rewarded with a smile and a kind word is in itself the best
reward a child could receive.

Helpful suggestions for non-food rewards

Create a “Privilege Box”. Students and teachers write down privilege ideas and put them in the box. The rewarded students draw from the box. Older students may respond more favorably to accumulating play money or coupons which they can redeem for prizes or privileges. Here are some ideas to include in your “Privilege Box”:

  • Run errands for the day
  • Erase the boards
  • Call out the attendance list
  • Have extra art or computer time
  • A no homework pass
  • Take care of class animal or mascot
  • Sit at the teacher’s desk for an activity
  • Have a healthy lunch with the teacher
  • Wear a hat, a pin or other item of recognition
  • First in line all day or first out for recess
  • Select a library book before the rest of the class

Suggestions for rewarding the entire class:

  • Extra recess time
  • Extra art or computer time
  • A classroom walk or hike
  • Class party with games, movies, or dance

Non-food rewards do not need to be large material rewards. Here are some additional ideas:

  • Stickers and stamps
  • Bookmarks
  • Art supplies
  • Reusable bottle of water
  • School supplies (pencil, eraser)
  • Sports equipment (jump rope, Frisbees)
  • Organize a raffle with recycled or very gently used items provided by teachers or families. For each good deed, the student is granted a ballot for a chance to win a gift of choice

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Oral Piercing

Oral piercing may be trendy, but there are risks. Be safe and follow proper oral care to avoid complications.

Be a smart consumer

  • Talk to a dentist, dental hygienist, doctor or nurse before making your decision
  • Have the piercing studio provide verbal and written instructions on after-care
  • Ask about the studio’s sterilization methods
  • Make sure the piercer practices proper hand washing and wears single-use gloves

Risks with oral piercing

  • Teeth problem - oral jewellery may damage teeth or fillings
  • Nerve damage - to the facial or tongue muscles
  • Infection - too much or long-lasting swelling and pain. Pus around the site
  • Potential for disease transmission - hepatitis, HIV, herpes, if proper sterilization methods are not used, or if you have oral sex during the healing process
  • Allergic reactions - to nickel or other metals
  • Other - accidental swallowing, limited tongue movement (speech problems) and loss of taste or sensation

Caring for your piercing

  • Always wash your hands before you touch or clean the piercing
  • Don’t remove the jewellery if it seems to be infected. Consult your physician.

The first weeks:

  • Carefully brush your teeth with a new, soft-bristled toothbrush
  • Sucking on ice chips may help reduce swelling
  • Rinse with warm salt water, or an alcohol-free, antibacterial mouthwash
  • Avoid smoking, spicy and hard food and alcoholic beverages
  • Don’t remove or change the original jewellery until the piercing is fully healed (up to eight weeks)

Ongoing care:

  • Continue to practice good oral hygiene
  • Remove oral jewellery and clean it well with a mild antibacterial soap
  • Remove oral jewellery during sports to prevent mouth injury and possible choking
  • A night guard may be needed to protect teeth
  • Change metal stud to plastic after the healing
  • Avoid playing with stud

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Pit and Fissure Sealant

Sealants are a preventive dental treatment. A coating is applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth to help prevent cavities.

What is a pit and fissure sealant?

  • Sealants act as barriers to protect the tooth enamel by keeping germs and food out of pits and fissures
  • They are easily painted on to the tooth and require no drilling or freezing
  • Sealants are effective in preventing decay in teeth with deep pits and fissures
  • They can last for several years

When is the best time to get sealants?

  • Children between 5 and 7 years of age (after first permanent molar appears)
  • Children between 11 and 14 years of age (after second permanent molar appears)

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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

Visiting the dentist and the hygienist

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

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 flossing
  • 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 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 the damaging stomach acids
  • If vomiting persists, notify your doctor

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Snacking and Dental Health

Sugar and plaque are the main causes of dental cavities. Plaque is a sticky film that forms on your teeth every day. It contains germs (or bacteria) that stick to your teeth. When sugar found in food and drinks combines with plaque, it produces an acid that damages the tooth’s hard outer layer (enamel). When the damage is severe and a hole is made in the enamel, a cavity is created.

Some Factors to Consider when Snacking

  • Choose snacks that are nutritious and unsweetened. Healthy food is good for both your dental and general health.
  • Read the ingredients list when choosing snacks. Note that raw cane sugar, honey, molasses, corn or maple syrup, glucose and fructose are all types of sugar.
  • Limit sweets to special occasions and only serve them at mealtime. The increased flow of saliva during a meal helps wash away and dilute sugars.
  • Reduce the length of time that sweet food stays in contact with your teeth. Avoid sipping sweet drinks for a long period of time, sucking on a candy or chewing sugared gum.
  • Avoid sticky foods, such as cereal bars and dried fruits, because they stay on the surface of the teeth longer.
  • Rinse your mouth with water, eat a piece of cheese or chew sugar free gum when brushing is not possible

Some Healthy Snack Ideas

Cheese, Cottage cheese, Yogurt, White milk, Fresh fruits, Vegetables with dip, Unsweetened fruit sauce, Sodium reduced vegetable juice, Bread sticks, Melba toast, Rice cakes, Half bagel, Hard boiled egg, Homemade muffin, Pita bread with Hummus, Half sandwich (cheese, egg,ham, salmon, tuna), Nut and seeds (for older children)

Remember to brush and floss twice a day!

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Teething

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 toget their permanent (adult) teeth. The 1st adult molar grows in behind the babyteeth

Upper teeth

  • Central incisors: 7-12 months
  • Lateral incisors: 9-13 months
  • Canines (cuspids): 16-22 months
  • First molars: 13-19 months
  • Second molars: 25-33 months

Lower teeth

  • Central incisors: 6-10 months
  • Lateral incisors: 7-16 months
  • Canines (cuspids): 16-23 months
  • First molars: 12-18 months
  • Second molars: 20-31 months

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 child has a fever, runny nose or diarrhea, these are not typical signs of teething. Call your doctor.

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Tooth Injury: What should you do?

An avulsed tooth is one that has been completely knocked out of its place.

This is a time dependent injury. The best outcome requires quick action.

  1. Find the tooth.
  2. Pick up the tooth by the crown. It is the part that is used to chew your food.
  3. Gently rinse the tooth with distilled water or milk for a few seconds. Do not scrub the tooth. Only use chlorinated tap water as a last choice, because it may damage the root.
    • Adult teeth should be immediately replaced into its hole whenever possible. Hold the tooth by the crown and put it back firmly into the hole, root first. The root will usually “click” into place. Then ask the child to bite down gently on a gauze or cloth.Take the child to the dentist as soon as possible. If the tooth cannot be replaced in its hole, it should be stored in cold milk or saliva until transferred to the dentist.
    • Baby teeth should not be replanted as it could damage the adult tooth formation. The child should see the dentist as soon as possible.

If a child shows any sign of a head injury such as unconsciousness, nausea or headache, call 911.

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 For more information on dental care please call Ottawa Public Health Information Centre at 613-580-6744.

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