Markham Dental Smiles
4630 Hwy 7 #2 Unionville ON L3R 1M5 (905) 477-6453

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Exciting news – We're happily accepting new patients!

Unionville, ON
(905) 477-6453

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What Age Should Kids Start Going to the Dentist?

Going to the dentist can be overwhelming for anyone, especially young children. Starting dental visits when your child is first developing their teeth can set them up for great tooth and mouth health in the future, and make the dentist less scary as they grow up.

A great dentist will help you navigate the oral hygiene of your child and make sure they feel safe, cared for, and maybe have a little fun, too. 

Your Child’s First Visit

Your child should have their first dentist appointment by their first birthday or within 6 months of their first tooth, whichever comes first. While this might feel a bit soon, your dentist can examine your child’s teeth and general oral health to make sure there are no issues.

Your dentist can also give you recommendations on caring for your child’s teeth and mouth based on their unique needs. Regular dental exams help protect your child from damage and diseases.

Do I Have to Brush Baby Teeth?

Even though baby teeth are temporary, it’s important to practice good oral hygiene. This includes brushing your child’s teeth. Make sure to use a children’s toothpaste that’s safe to swallow, just in case! 

Baby teeth are important for your child’s overall health and development. Teeth help your child chew, speak, and smile (and they look so cute). Baby teeth also set up your child’s mouth for their permanent, adult teeth. 

If a baby tooth is lost too early, it could impact how their adult teeth grow in. This is why practicing good oral hygiene while your child is young is so important for their long-term health.

If you ever have a question or concern about your child’s dental hygiene and routine, you can always reach out to your dentist for support. 

Good Oral Hygiene for Kids

Your dentist can tell you the best way to care for your child’s teeth and mouth, but there are some tips and tricks you can use to get started at home.

Begin cleaning your baby’s mouth a few days after birth. Using a clean cloth soaked in warm water, gently wipe your baby’s gums. You can do this every day as your baby grows up.

Where there are teeth, there can be tooth decay. Remember that even baby teeth need to be looked after. Brush your child’s teeth thoroughly twice a day once teeth start to appear.  

Once your child is 3 years old, you can usually begin using a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste and brush twice daily. Remember to remind them not to swallow the toothpaste.

As your child gets older, they should continue brushing for 2 minutes twice a day and see the dentist every 6 months. Supervise your child until you’re confident they can brush their teeth alone. 

A young girl smiling while a dentist holds dental cleaning tools next to her face

Can My Child Suck Their Thumb?

It’s completely normal for babies to suck because it helps relax them. This is a common instinct until a child turns 2 or 3 years old. If your child likes to suck, it’s better that they suck on a soother than their thumb.

You can control a soother, but you can’t control their thumb. However, you shouldn’t put sugar, honey, or syrup on a soother because it can cause cavities. It’s best to discourage sucking once your child’s permanent teeth start coming in as this can affect how their jaw and teeth grow

What About Braces?

Braces are a treatment used in orthodontics to correct misaligned teeth, such as:

  • Crooked teeth
  • Overcrowded teeth
  • Overlapping teeth
  • Uneven bite (overbite or underbite)

Once your child’s permanent teeth have grown in and settled, usually around age 7 or 8, you can begin the discussion of braces. However, your orthodontist would likely recommend waiting until your child is between 10 to 14 years old to use braces.

Your dentist and orthodontist will also help you determine the best time for your child to get braces if they need them. 

Orthodontic issues, like crooked teeth, are often inherited. If you had crooked teeth as a child, it’s fairly possible that your child could have crooked teeth, too. Sometimes, crooked teeth can be caused by other factors, such as tooth or jaw issues, early loss of baby teeth, thumb sucking, and an injury.

Time for a Visit?

Your child should visit the dentist every 6 months (and you should, too!), so book your next appointment with us today! We’re here to help.

Visit Our Location

We would love to meet you at our Unionville office. We’re located on Highway 7, right next to the Shopper’s Drug Mart.


Markham Dental Smiles
4630 Hwy 7 #2
Unionville, ON, L3R 1M5

Contact Number

Phone: (905) 477-6453
Email: [email protected]


Monday: Closed
Tuesday: 10:00AM - 7:00PM
Wednesday: 10:00AM - 7:00PM
Thursday: 10:00AM - 2:30PM
Friday: 10:00AM - 6:00PM
Saturday: 9:00AM - 5:00PM
Sunday: Closed