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Flip the Lip and Other Quick Tips From Our Calgary Dentist to Keep Your Child’s Smile Healthy and Happy

Flip the Lip and Other Quick Tips From Our Calgary Dentist to Keep Your Child’s Smile Healthy and Happy

One of the most common questions asked of us by parents is at what age should their child be seen for their first dental appointment.  Our Calgary dentist follows the recommendations of the Canadian Dental Association and the Alberta Dental Association, which both indicate that your child should be first seen by their Calgary dentist by the time they are one year old, or within six months of when their first tooth erupts, whichever occurs first.

Some parents and caregivers are surprised to hear of the importance of bringing their child to their Calgary dentist by the time they are one year old or within six months of the eruption of their first tooth.  Often this surprise is due to a lack of vital information regarding the health and development of their child’s teeth, gums and jaw and the importance of early intervention.  By bringing your child for their dental appointment at the recommended age, your dentist can:

  • check for early signs of gum disease
  • identify if your child is at special risk for tooth decay
  • identify enamel anomalies
  • discuss any fluoride issues (for example, the presence or absence of water fluoridation)
  • check for early signs of teeth decay
  • check to make sure your child’s teeth are erupting on schedule and properly
  • help to make your child comfortable with seeing the dentist and dental hygienist

Another very important reason for making an appointment with your child at an early age is so that your Calgary dentist can provide useful tips for your child’s home oral care routine, which are discussed in more detail below.


There are several relatively simple steps that a parent or caregiver can take to ensure that their child maintains optimal oral health from infancy to adulthood.  Some of these tips from our Calgary dentist are as follows:

  • for babies without teeth, wipe their gums gently after feeding with a soft, clean towel
  • never give your baby juice or milk in their bottles while laying down for naps or bedtime
  • help your young child to brush their teeth so that all of their teeth are brushed thoroughly, for at least two minutes
  • as most children do not have the manual dexterity to floss their teeth, floss your child’s teeth for them as soon as there are two teeth that touch
  • use a pea size amount of fluoridated toothpaste as soon as you can be sure that your child will not swallow the toothpaste


One of our Calgary dentist’s favourite tips is recognized worldwide by health organizations as a simple way to detect early caries (cavities).  What is this tip? As soon as your child’s first tooth erupts, flip your young child’s top and bottom lip to check for tooth decay.  Flipping your child’s upper and lower lip monthly is important because cavities can form as soon as your child’s first tooth erupts.  Most cavities in young children start to form at the gumline and often cannot be seen when your child is smiling.  If you see any spots or lines on your child’s teeth, including white, brown or any discoloured areas on their teeth, particularly along the gumline in the upper front teeth, this could be a sign of cavities and you should make an appointment for your child with your Calgary dentist for a dental examination.

According to a paper published by the Canadian Dental Association ( 57% of children in Canada either have missing teeth, tooth decay or filled cavities. Examining your child’s teeth at least monthly for signs of tooth decay, particularly along the gumline, is an important step you can take to help your child maintain a healthy smile during their childhood and beyond. Early detection of tooth decay followed by an appointment with your Calgary dentist can help to mitigate any further tooth decay, prevent infection and even baby tooth loss.  Your Calgary dentist can also help you to determine the cause or causes of your child’s tooth decay.  Early intervention (with small fillings) will also avoid more extensive intervention by your dentist in Calgary including large fillings, root canals or even tooth extractions.  Preventing cavities with early detection of potential issues also avoids your child from suffering the pain and discomfort of an infected tooth.

At our Calgary dentist office, we love seeing children of all ages from infants to teenagers.  To help ensure your child enjoys optimal oral health, our focus is on prevention and education so that your child both understands and appreciates the value of taking care of their pearly whites.  To make your child’s visit with our Calgary dentist as comfortable and enjoyable as possible, we always take our time with children and encourage parents or caregivers to stay in the dental suite with their child for their entire visit.  And the very best part? We also have the most awesome toy box ever for your child to choose a fun gift from at the end of their appointment. 

 It would be our privilege to be your child’s lifelong partner in taking care of their oral health.  If it’s time for your child’s first or subsequent Calgary dentist appointment, call us today at 403.283.4252.  We are conveniently located in the beautiful community of Kensington / Sunnyside / Hillhurst in NW Calgary.  We’re here for you and your family.

This blog post written by our Calgary dentist, Dr. Dirk Thompson, D.D.S., is for informational purposes only.  It is not to be taken or used as a substitute for dental, medical or other professional advice, treatment or diagnosis.  Always ask your dentist, physician or other healthcare professional for advice before altering your diet or healthcare routine.  Individual patient needs and oral healthcare concerns vary so please consult your dentist for more information about your specific dental health requirements.

Copyright 2021: Dirk A. Thompson Professional Corporation operating as Advance Your Health Dental.  Dr. Dirk A. Thompson, D.D.S., is a general dentist in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.


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