Oral health screening tool

Use these questions to help monitor your child’s dental development.

If you answer “No” to 3 or more questions, please speak with your family’s dental care provider about your child’s dental development.

If you do not have a family dental care provider, please call the Health Unit to learn about our assistance programs. (705.522.9200, ext. 236, toll-free 1.866.522.9200).

If your child is between 18 and 24 months, do they have at least 12 teeth? OR, If your child is between 25 and 26 months, do they have at least 16 teeth?

By 18 months, most children have 12 to 16 teeth and by 36 months they have 18 to 20 teeth. The first teeth to come in are the front teeth followed by teeth in the back.

Does your child drink mostly from a cup without a lid?

By 18 months, children should be drinking from a cup without a lid most of the time. If they do drink from a bottle or sippy cup, don’t let them constantly sip from on milk, formula, juice, pop or other sweet beverages.

Does your child sleep without a bottle?

If your child must have a bottle to fall asleep, fill it with plain water. If you are breastfeeding, take your child off the breast when they are done nursing.

Has your child been seen by a dentist or dental hygienist?

Children should have their teeth checked by a dentist or a dental hygienist by their first birthday to find problems early.

Are your child’s teeth cleaned daily by an adult?

Clean your child’s teeth daily using a very small soft brush with plain water or a tiny amount of non-fluoride toothpaste. Children older than 3 years should use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste with fluoride. The most important time to clean your child’s teeth is before going to sleep at night.

Are your child’s teeth white and shiny?

Even toddlers can get tooth decay. You should check your child’s teeth at least once a month. Lift their upper lip to see the teeth up to the gum line. If their teeth have chalky-white or brown spots anywhere or are chipped or broken, take your child to a dentist.

Does your child have set times during the day for meals and snacks?

Your child should have no more than 5 or 6 set meal and snack times during the day. Frequent snacking helps cause cavities, especially if foods are sticky and sweet. Some examples of healthy snack choices are cheese, whole-grain crackers, yoghurt and fresh fruit and vegetables. For snack time drinks, offer plain water, milk or unsweetened fruit or vegetable juice. When your child is thirsty at other times, offer plain water.

This item was last modified on March 27, 2018