Understanding Your Children’s Teeth & Tips for their First Dental Visits

Did you know that your child will have their first set of all 20 baby teeth by the time they are 3-years-old? Did you also know that as soon as the children’s teeth first appear they are immediately at risk for decay? That’s one of  the reasons why children’s teeth tend to have more cavities than adults (read our past blog about the other reasons why). The good news is that baby tooth decay is preventable.

Begin your baby’s good oral hygiene by wiping your their gums with a clean washcloth. A baby’s four front teeth with begin pushing through the gums around 6 months, but some won’t see their first tooth until 12-14 months. Keep an eye out for them- once they push through their risk for decay begins.

As soon as your child’s teeth begin to appear, you will need to brush them twice a day with a child-size toothbrush and a pea-sized amount of children’s fluoridated toothpaste. When two teeth begin touching, you will need to clean between the teeth daily.

Teething is the normal progression of a baby’s life as they experience the discomfort of their baby teeth pushing through their gums. As teeth erupt, fussiness, sleeplessness and irritability are all normal behaviours during this time. Parents using their mouths to clean pacifiers or sharing spoons should be avoided at the risk of spreading cavity-prone bacteria to your child’s mouth.  Diarrhea, fever, and rashes are not normal symptoms of teething; call your physician if these symptoms arise during teething.

When a child is old enough to begin learning to brush their teeth on their own, adults should always supervise. If using fluoridated toothpaste, you must ensure your child doesn’t swallow the toothpaste.

Once children’s teeth begin appearing, it is time for baby’s first visit to the dentist. The earlier a child begins going to the dentist, the better chances that the child will be able to associate positive feelings towards the dental office. The CDA recommends the first dental visit within six months of the first tooth’s arrival, but no later than the child’s first birthday. It is in your child’s best interest to not wait until an emergency or school beginning.

Tips for Your Child’s First Dental Visit

  • You should consider booking your child’s first and subsequent initial appointments in the morning when your child is rested and cooperative.

  • Avoid sharing any personal anxiety or concerns you personally have regarding the dentist. Children are quite capable of reading their parents’ emotions so be sure to emphasize the positive and to not contribute to unnecessary fears.

  • Never use a dental visit (or any medical visit for that matter) as a threat or punishment.

  • Never bribe your child.

  • Talk with your child about visiting the dentist to help ease any fears or answer questions they may have.


Our Dentists and Hygiene team members are skilled at working with children’s teeth. They are dedicated to ensuring they have positive, pleasant, and fun visits at the dental office.

Get in touch with our office today through our website or give us a call at (807)623-2662.

Oasis Family Dental
501 Edward St. N Thunder Bay, ON P7C 4R1
Phone: (807) 623-2662