Frequently Asked Questions

How Should I Care For My Toddlers Teeth?

Toddler age is a good time to begin teaching your child how to brush his or her own teeth. Let your child imitate how you brush your teeth. You can also try brushing each other’s teeth. Help your child brush so you can remove food particles he or she may have missed.

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When Should I Floss My Child’s Teeth?

You should begin flossing your child’s teeth as soon as there are two teeth side by side. Floss gently between the teeth once a day. Children usually can begin flossing on their own by about age 10.

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How Can I Prevent My Child From Getting Cavities?

Here are some ways you can maintain the health of your child’s teeth and gums:

  • Limit how much candy, sugary foods, and snacks your child eats. Sugary and sticky foods attract bacteria, which can cause cavities.
  • Brush your child’s teeth after every meal.
  • Be sure to brush your child’s teeth after giving him or her medicine. Medicines such as cough syrups contain sugar, which makes the mouth produce acids. These acids can eat away at the protective top layer of the tooth.
  • Help your child develop good eating habits. Choose a variety of healthy foods for family meals. Be sure to include good sources of calcium such as milk, broccoli, and yogurt.
  • Avoid giving your child sugary drinks such as regular soda pop. Soda pop contains large amounts of sugar, which can also produce cavities.
  • Visit the dentist regularly. Your child should have his or her first dental visit at about age one. Getting regular dental checkups will also help prevent dental problems.

What Is A Cavity?

A cavity is a hole in the tooth that is caused by decay. Decay occurs when plague, the sticky substance that forms on teeth, combines with the sugars and / or starches of the food we eat. This combination produces acids that attack tooth enamel. The best way to prevent tooth decay is brushing twice a day, flossing daily and going to your regular dental checkups. Eating healthy foods and avoiding snacks and drinks that are high in sugar are also ways to prevent decay.

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How Often Should I Change My Toothbrush?

Adults and children should change their toothbrush every 3 months because they become worn out and are not as effective as they once were. Exceptions to this would be if you were using an electric toothbrush, and the manufacturer states otherwise. Some electric rechargeable toothbrushes have very good brush heads that only need to be changed every 6 months. If you have gum disease, you should change your toothbrush every 4 – 6 weeks because bacteria can harbour in the bristles. You should always rinse your toothbrush out with hot water after every use and change it after you have been sick.

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How Common Is Gum Disease?

It is the most common dental problem, and it can progress quite painlessly until you have a serious problem. The end result is bone loss and the loss of teeth. Even though you may brush and floss regularly, regular visits to the dentist will help detect gum disease in the early stages.

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What If I Am In The Early Stages Of Gum Disease?

If you already have gum disease, getting rid of plaque and tartar gives your gums a chance to get better. That’s why in the early stages of gum disease, the best treatment is:

  • Regular cleanings in our dental office
  • Brushing twice a day
  • Flossing once a day

Recent studies suggest gum disease may contribute to or be warning signs of potentially life threatening conditions such as:

  • Heart Disease and Stroke – Studies suggest gingivitis may increase the risk of heart disease and stroke because of the high levels of bacteria found in infected areas of the mouth. As the level of periodontal disease increases, the risk of cardiovascular disease may increase with it. Other studies have suggested that the inflammation in the gums may create a chronic inflammation response in other parts of the body which has also been implicated in increasing the risk of heart disease and stroke.
  • Diabetes – People with diabetes often have some form of gum disease, likely caused by high blood glucose, according to the CDC. People with diabetes need to take extra care to ensure proper brushing and flossing techniques are used to prevent the advancement of the gum disease. Regular check-ups and cleanings with your dental hygienist should be followed.

What To Do If You Have A Toothache?

Clean the area thoroughly, rinse with warm salt water or floss between the teeth to dislodge any food trapped. If face is swollen, apply a cool compress and take acetaminophen (e.g. Tylenol) for the pain. Make an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible.

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Symptoms that suggest you may need a root canal

Symptom 1:
Moderate to severe lingering toothache when having hot or cold foods.
Symptom 2:
Toothache pain so intense it wakes you up at night.
Symptom 3:
Pain when chewing or biting.
Symptom 4:
Swelling on your gum which when pressed may release blood or pus
Symptom 5:
Pain that starts in one tooth and spreads to other regions of the jaw or head e.g. An infected lower molar (back tooth) may cause you to feel pain in the ear!