Age Recommendations

Oral Hygiene
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0-2 years

1st Tooth & Cleaning: 

Unlike the average baby who shows their first tooth around 6 months, those with Down syndrome will not see their 1st tooth until 12-14 months but maybe as late as 2 years old.  This pattern of progress delay continues throughout tooth development of individuals with Down syndrome. Before the first tooth eruption, individual’s mouths should be cleaned daily with soft gauze or cloth. As soon as his first tooth appeared, his mum transitioned to brushing twice a day with a smear size of toothpaste.  The first appointment with the dentist should also be scheduled around this time.

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Before tooth eruption

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Clean mouth with gauze or soft cloth

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After first tooth

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2x
a day

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Clean teeth with smear-size toothpaste

Schedule first appointment with dentist

Registering with the dentist:

Caregivers should register and scheduled their child’s first appointment as soon as the first tooth has erupted.  This first dentist experience should be focused on creating a positive experience such as bringing along his favourite blanket or letting him pick out a new toy or healthy snack after.  This experience allows the child to get comfortable with the surroundings including equipment, sounds, smells, and people.  This is the perfect time for the dentist to start building a positive relationship with your child, as well as go over his past medical history.  Dental visits should be scheduled twice yearly.

 

After the visit, caregivers should continue to slowly teach him the importance of dental health by demonstrating good oral health themselves and reading fun dental books.  In addition, it is important to note the advantages of sugar-free medicines and reduce the frequency and amount of dietary sugar ingested, limiting it only to mealtimes if possible throughout life.

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3-6
years

At age 3, brushing should be increased to twice a day, using a pea-sized amount of toothpaste, and should be supervised by a caregiver.  It is important to make sure they spit but did not rinse after brushing to enhance the effects of fluoride. 

 

Between 4-5 years, all a Down syndrome child’s baby teeth have come in.  This may appear in random orders and at unexpected times.  It is not uncommon for these some of these teeth to be missing, small and short or widely spaced.  At 6 years old, the child may begin to loose baby teeth.

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Baby teeth will begin to appear in random orders

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2x
a day

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Clean teeth with pea-size toothpaste

The first tooth will fall out around age 6

Oral Hygiene
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7+
years

By age 7, the child should be introduced to mouth rinsing with fluoride (only if the child is able to spit it out and not swallow).  As permanent teeth come in, it is additionally not uncommon to see spaced teeth, missing teeth, especially the 3rd molars and lateral incisors.  Like the baby teeth, these can also be short and smaller in size than the average adults.  It is important to maintain twice a day brushing, once a day fluoride mouth rinsing and twice yearly check-ups with your dentist throughout adulthood. 

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3rd molars, lateral incisors and wisdom are the most likely to be missing

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2x
a day

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Clean teeth with pea-size toothpaste

Once a day fluoride rinsing

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Maintain semi-annual visits to dentist throughout adulthood