Updated: Oct 27
Children’s day is soon approaching! Paediatric dentistry and prevention of dental problems has always been a big part of my treatment philosophy so here’s a special session on children's oral health. Here are some common questions I heard from mothers about teeth and orthodontics, also how to get dental care whilst pregnant.
For newborns and new mothers:
When should I take my child to the dentist for his first examination?
To prevent dental problems, your child should go to the dentist when the first tooth appears or before his / her first birthday. Most children have a full set of 20 baby teeth around the age of 3, and usually the bottom front teeth grow first and fall first.
When should I start brushing my teeth?
I have repeatedly stressed that special attention should be paid to oral hygiene in infancy. Clean your baby's gums with a soft, damp cloth or rubber brush (I prefer rubber brushes!) after meals and maintain this habit when the teeth begin to appear. Help your child brush his or her teeth twice a day and start flossing daily when two teeth are in contact. After the first tooth appears (before the first birthday), take your child to the dentist, and then start to check regularly to keep the baby teeth healthy before the permanent teeth grow out.
How should baby's teeth be cleaned?
Toothbrushes remove plaque bacteria that can cause decay. Use a soft toothbrush with a small head at least once a day before going to bed, preferably designed for infants.
What should be paid attention to in oral care during pregnancy preparation?
I strongly recommend that all girls have a comprehensive dental examination before pregnancy preparation to avoid X-rays (although the risk of X-rays is very small). During pregnancy preparation, oral hygiene still needs to be maintained. I strongly recommend that you form the habit of good flossing and brushing.
Can you still do dental examination after pregnancy?
Dental examination will not have a negative effective on pregnancy. I will try to avoid giving pregnant women X-rays, but if you have toothache whilst pregnancy and need root canal treatment, the treatment effect may be compromised (hence emphasising the importance of check ups before you get pregnant）.
Can you get teeth cleaning whilst pregnant?
Yes, and I suggest you clean your teeth as usual during pregnancy. Because of the hormonal changes during pregnancy, pregnant women may be more prone to gum disease.
Dr. Oscar Sum is a dentist in Shanghai practicing in central Shanghai who performs Implant surgery, Orthodontics, and other advanced dental procedures. Please call scan the QR code to enquire about an appointment with Dr. Sum