Mouthing Off


SavvyMoms don’t just have our own 32 pearly whites to look after. We’re also the caretakers of those twenty baby teeth our children bring into the world with cries and sleepless nights. But enough about that.
It’s an important task, all right, so this week we are bringing you the goods straight from the dentist’s mouth (so to speak) thanks to Dr. Rosamund Harrison, the chair of the pediatric dentistry division in UBC’s Faculty of Dentistry.

First off, we asked her, does a child need a pediatric dentist? What about good old Dr. Bob, who’s been our family dentist since we were eight? Well, Dr. Bob may be great, especially since you’ve already built a relationship with him. But Dr. Harrison notes that pediatric dentists are specially trained to deal with children’s behaviours and fears, sedation (for the child, not the anxious mother!), special-needs children and other issues that might require a dentist that is specifically ‘child-friendly’. And he or she is likely to have set up their practice to reflect that—read more toys in the waiting room, cheery colours, patient staff, and stickers. So if you think you’d like to try a pediatric dentist, visit the BC Dental Association’s ‘find a dentist’ page to search for an accredited specialist in your area.

And when is Junior’s first appointment? Soon! Dr. Harrison notes that parents should bring in babies just after their first baby tooth has erupted (usually around six months’ of age). Many dental issues can be predicted or prevented if your dentist gets the head’s up on your child’s teeth.

Unfortunately, dentists are still seeing lots of early childhood tooth decay. While most of us are well aware that we shouldn’t put Baby to bed with a bottle of juice, juice carried around in a sipper cup during the day can be just as harmful, as can a bottle of milk at night, or constant grazing on snacks. Even the most healthy foods often contain natural sugars. And those baby teeth are important: if kids lose one or more to decay, they won’t be around to save the necessary space for the adult teeth that follow.


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