Thursday, May 27, 2010


CMOTC mom Kathleen P. shares this great resource she found on preparing your child for the dentist, teaching them how to brush their teeth properly, children's books about dental care and website resources. Also included is a very interesting timeline on teeth.


Preparing your Child for an Oral Checkup

The dental office might seem like a frightening place to most children, but with the help of the following tips, both children and parents can enjoy the trip to the dental hygienist and Dentist.
  • Take the child with you when you have your routine cleaning, so that they may see exactly what occurs at the appointment.

  • Schedule visits to the dental hygienist at a time when your child is likely to be well rested and cooperative.

  • Never mention the words “hurt” or “pain” around your child when discussing an oral health visit. Saying “it won’t hurt” instills the possibility of pain into your child’s thought process.

  • Do not discuss your own negative experiences in your child’s hearing range.

  • Allow and encourage your child to discuss any fear he or she might have about oral health visits.

For more information about proper oral health care, as well as brushing and-flossing instructions, please talk to your registered dental hygienist; visit the ADHA Web site, at

Brushing teeth

Daily brushing keeps the teeth clean, stimulates the gums and keeps the gums firm. Children should brush their teeth immediately after eating, to remove food particles. If a person cannot brush his teeth after eating, they should rinse their mouth thoroughly with water. Cavities are holes caused by decay in teeth. Teeth tend to decay on surfaces that touch because it is difficult to clean between teeth with a toothbrush. Thin, strong thread called dental floss is used to clean between the teeth.

Describing to a child how to brush:

  1. Hold the brush with the bristles pointing toward the gums.

  2. Move the brush so it sweeps over the gums and teeth toward the biting surfaces.

  3. Brush the teeth of each jaw separately - the upper teeth downward, the lower teeth upward.

  4. Use a scrubbing circular motion to clean the chewing surfaces.

  5. Brush the inner as well as out surfaces.

  6. Brush each area at least 10 times.

Websites resources:
Kid's Health website - kid's pages on dental care
Teeth brushing behavior charts

Books for Children About Dental Care

A Visit to the Dentist (Little Bill) by Eleanor Fremont, Andy Mastrocinque (Illustrator)

Brush Your Teeth Please by Leslie McGuire, Jean Pidgeon (Illustrator)

Dear Tooth Fairy by Alan Durant, Vanessa Cabban (Illustrator)

How Many Teeth? (Let's-Read-and-Find-Out Science 1) by Paul Showers, True Kelley (Illustrator)

Little Rabbit's Loose Tooth by Lucy Bate

Open Wide : Tooth School Inside by Laurie Keller

The Night Before the Tooth Fairy (Reading Railroad Books) by Natasha Wing, Barbara Johansen Newman (Illustrator)

The Story of the Tooth Fairy by Tom Paxton, Robert Sauber

Throw Your Tooth on the Roof: Tooth Traditions from Around the World by Selby Beeler, G. Brian Karas (Illustrator)

What Do the Fairies Do With All Those Teeth? by Michel Luppens, Phillipe Beha (Illustrator)

Teeth: the early years

In utero: First Trimester At around 6or 7 weeks the Fetus forms a band of tissue called the dental lamina, which leads to tooth buds.

Second Trimester By week 20, the baby teeth buds are in place, and a second set of buds-gums are so firm they deliver a sort of bite-lite.

At birth: Each tooth is formed, though they remain underground. Still, one in every 2,000 babies is born with a tooth showing, call a natal tooth.

6 to 8 months The first tooth: It’s nearly always a bottom tooth from one (the lower central incisor). Baby teeth are also call deciduous teeth because they fall out.

8-12 months The top front teeth (upper central incisors) join the party. On average, a girl’s teeth appear sooner than a boy’s teeth.

9-13 months No w come the top lateral incisors (which bookend the two front teeth).

10-16 months The bottom lateral incisors crop up. You child has a heedful of eight teeth.

13-19 months The first molars grow in, on top and bottom.

16-22 months The pointer canine teeth surface, and the baby vampire jokes begin.

25-33 months The biggest baby teeth, the second molars, rise way in the back, and the full quota of 20 baby teeth is reached.

3 years First trip to Dentist for cleaning and check up. Sometimes it’s best to find a pediatric dentist.

4 years They’re all in and the gaps in their teeth help the adult teeth grow in evenly.

6-7 years The first tooth falls out. It’s usually the lower central incisor, the fist to appear in babyhood. Baby teeth don’t actually fall out, they are pushed out. The adult tooth below presses so hard on the baby tooth above that the baby tooth’s roots dissolve and its crown has nothing to tie it down. Fairies everywhere flex their wings.

7-8 years Baby teeth begin their departure in a mostly first hire/first fired order, starting in the middle and edging out to the nearest neighbors.

9-13 years As baby teeth go, in comes comically large replacements. Eight brand new ones, (premolars and second premolars) take up all the extra room in you big kid’s mouth.

14-23 years Not it’s a 28-tooth holding pattern until you child hits their early 20s and their third molars, a.k.a. wisdom teeth, come in.

The epic journey from 20 baby teeth to 32 adult teeth is over.


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