Why do I need to see the dentist twice a year?
In general, we recommend twice-annual appointments to help us identify and treat small problems before they become serious. Your regular checkups and cleanings are preventative measures that allow us to provide a thorough professional cleaning to help remove plaque and tartar build up that can lead to tooth decay and gum disease.
However, we might recommend you visit us more frequently depending on the health of your teeth and gums. If you have signs of gum disease you will require appointments as often as every three to four months.
How often do I need X-rays?
An assessment of your oral health will provide us with the information we need to determine how often you need to have X-rays. X-rays are an important part of preventative care as we can detect diseases of the teeth and surrounding tissues that cannot be identified with your regular checkups.
Why do I need X-rays?
Although it might seem X-rays are an unnecessary part of your dental care, they help us find dental problems at an early stage before they develop into more serious issues. This will save time, money and unnecessary discomfort. Although we perform regular oral exams, X-rays allow us to detect damage not visible including:
- Decay between the teeth or below fillings
- Bone infections
- Periodontal (gum) disease
- Abscesses or cysts
- Developmental abnormalities
At what age should I begin oral care for my child at home?
You should start cleaning your child’s mouth even before you see signs of their first tooth. Use a soft damp cloth to gently wipe your baby’s mouth after feedings. You can continue with a soft toothbrush with the appearance of their first tooth.
At what age should I book my child’s first dental appointment?
We believe an early start on dental care will set the tone for your child’s oral health for life. We suggest your child see us within six months of the eruption of your baby’s first tooth or by one year of age as recommended by the Canadian Dental Association. We ensure your child’s first appointment provides a positive experience to encourage a healthy relationship that makes them comfortable with their dental visits.
What is fluoride?
Fluoride is a mineral that helps keep bone and teeth healthy. It can be found in foods and drink including tap water, tea, canned fish, cooked kale and spinach, apples, and skim milk. City water contains fluoride, which provides you with protection for your teeth, but supplements are also available.
Why is fluoride important to dental health?
Children who drink water containing fluoride have been shown to have less tooth decay. If you lack fluoride it can put you at risk for increased tooth decay. Fluoride helps to keep your tooth enamel more resistant to acid that can be found in plaque bacteria — it can even help reverse early tooth decay and help prevent bone loss.
Does my child need cavity-fighting sealants?
In some cases, we might recommend using sealants to help prevent tooth decay for your child. This thin coating is painted on molar and premolar surfaces to form a protective barrier against bacteria. This helps your child avoid cavities and the need for costly fillings. Ask us at your next appointment if sealants are right for your child.
My gums are bleeding, what should I do?
Bleeding gums are a symptom of gingivitis, the onset of periodontal disease. Although you can experience gum bleeding due to aggressive brushing, we always recommend you come in right away if you experience gum bleeding. When gums are inflamed, it is important to continue brushing and flossing to help reduce the inflammation and remove bacteria that can make things worse. We will provide a periodontal screening and recording to determine the level of disease present and provide a treatment plan to help prevent any further progression.
What is periodontal disease?
Periodontal disease is the inflammation and infection of the gums that can also affect the supporting bone structure. This is a serious condition that can lead to permanent jaw bone destruction and tooth loss if not treated. It has also been linked to increased risk of heart disease, stroke, low birth weight babies, pre-term delivery, respiratory disease, and prostate cancer. Signs of periodontal disease include:
- Bad breath (halitosis)
- Loose teeth or loss of teeth
- Sensitive teeth
- Pus around the teeth
- Pain chewing
- Tender, red, swollen or bleeding gums
If you have signs of periodontal disease, call us to book an appointment as soon as possible. We can develop a treatment plan to halt the progression and minimize damage to your oral health.