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Children & Teen Care

Teens should be sure to see their dentist at least twice a year. Regular dental visits can help catch minor problems before they become major ones! When your teen is already busy with friends, schoolwork and catching up on sleep, proper oral hygiene can go on the back burner. When running late for school, sometimes there just isn’t time for a full two minutes of toothbrushing. But as a parent, it’s up to you to make sure that your teen practices good dental care. By making oral hygiene part of a simple daily routine, you can help your teen sneak in regular brushing and flossing along with all the other plans in his or her schedule.

Should I limit drinking soda?

YES! Whether at school, home or on the weekends, teens are drinking more soda than they have in the past. In 1977, 12 to 19-year-olds drank 16 ounces of soda a day. In 1996, this same age group consumed an average of 28 ounces a day. Not only is sugar harmful to teeth, acidic flavor additives can also erode and damage tooth enamel. There are simple ways you can limit the harmful effects of sodas. Try sipping soda through a straw. It cuts down on the contact the beverage has with your teeth. Rinse your mouth with water after drinking soda. It can also reduce the risk of cavities.

Why should I avoid oral piercings?

Tongue piercing remains a teen trend, however it is not always a healthy choice for your mouth. People chip teeth on tongue piercings while eating, sleeping, talking and chewing on the jewelry. Tongue piercing commonly causes fractured teeth. The fracture can be confined to tooth enamel and require a filling, or it may go deeper; in which case, can cause a need for a root canal or extraction.

Infections are also common with oral piercings, and they cause more than pain. A tongue can swell after being punctured, however in some cases the tongue becomes infected and swells so much that it may cut off breathing. Unclean piercing equipment can cause other infections, such as bloodborne hepatitis.

Why should I make time for healthy habits?

Quick meals in the form of “nutrition” bars and fast food help keep you alert and on schedule between school, extracurricular activities and part-time jobs. However, today’s fast-paced lifestyle threatens to leave the teen generation with permanent damage to oral and overall health. You can keep travel-size brushes in lockers or back packs. Chewing sugarless gum with xylitol after meals or snacks can also help cleanse your mouth. Drinking water throughout the day can help clean your teeth of excess bacteria and food debris.

When should I make an Appointment

Today… Whether it’s the first tooth or the first birthday—no matter which happens first—it’s time for your child’s first dentist appointment! Your dentist will examine your child’s mouth and advise you on any concerns you have, such as thumbsucking. If you are having trouble brushing your child’s teeth, your dentist can show you a few methods to ensure you are doing a thorough job. Regular exams are essential to your child’s oral health so be sure to keep regular appointments with your child’s dentist.

Has your child seen a dentist?

Taking your child to the dentist at an early age is the best way to prevent oral health problems. A trip to the dentist also can educate you on how to properly care for your child’s teeth and to identify his or her dental needs. Early visits will help to familiarize your child with the dental office, too, which helps to reduce anxiety and fear, and make visits more stress-free in the future.

Can tooth decay affect infants?

Yes. Tooth decay in infants and young children most often occurs in the upper front teeth. This decay, commonly referred to as “baby bottle tooth decay,” is caused by prolonged exposure of a child’s teeth to liquids containing sugars. Your dentist can tell you more about what you can do to help prevent the development of this condition.

When should my child first see a dentist?

The ideal time is six months after your child’s first (primary) teeth erupt or by the child’s first birthday. This time frame is the perfect opportunity for the dentist to carefully examine the development of your child’s mouth. Your dentist may even provide or recommend special preventive care to thwart oral health problems.

How can I protect my child’s oral health?

Parents should provide their child’s oral hygiene care until the child is old enough to take responsibility for the daily routine of brushing and flossing. A proper regimen of preventive home care is important from the day your child is born. To help prevent tooth decay, talk to your dentist and follow the tips below:

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Extra Stuff You Should Know

We hope this will help

Why is visiting the dentist so important?

Visiting the dentist regularly will not only help keep your teeth and mouth healthy, but will also help keep the rest of your body healthy. Dental care is important because it:

  • Helps prevent tooth decay
  • Protects against periodontal (gum)disease, which can lead to tooth and bone loss
  • Prevents bad breath – brushing, flossing, and seeing the dentist regularly will help reduce the amount of bacteria in your mouth that causes bad breath
  • Gives you a more attractive smile and increase your self-confidence
  • Helps keep teeth looking bright by preventing them from becoming stained by food, drinks, and tobacco
  • Strengthens your teeth so that you can enjoy healthy, beautiful smiles for the rest of your life!

Are dental X-rays safe?

Exposure to all sources of radiation, like the sun, minerals in the soil, appliance in your home, or dental X-rays, can damage the body’s tissues and cells, and can lead to the development of cancer in some instances. Fortunately, the dose of radiation you are exposed to during the taking of X-rays is extremely small.

How often should I brush and floss?

Brushing and flossing help control the plaque and bacteria that cause dental disease. Plaque is a film of feed debris, bacteria, and saliva that sticks to the teeth and gums. The bacteria in plaque convert certain food particles into acids that cause tooth decay. Also, if plaque is not removed, it turns into calculus (tartar). If plaque and calculus are not removed, they begin to destroy the gums and bone, causing periodontal (gum) disease. Plaque formation and growth is continuous and can only be controlled by regular brushing, flossing, and the use of other dental aids.

Toothbrushing

Brush your teeth at least twice a day (especially before going to bed at night) with ADA approved soft bristle brush and toothpaste. Brush at a 45 degree angle to the gums, gently using a small, circular motion, ensuring that you always feel the bristles on the gums. Brush the outer, inner, and biting surfaces of each tooth. Use the tip of the brush head to clean the inside front teeth. Brush your tongue to remove bacteria and freshen your breath. Electric toothbrushes are also recommended. They are easy to use and can remove plaque efficiently. Simply place the bristles of the electric brush on your gums and teeth and allow the brush to do its job, several teeth at a time.

Flossing

Daily flossing is the best way to clean between the teeth and under the gumline. Glossing not only helps clean these spaces, it disrupts plaque colonies from building up, preventing damage to the gums, teeth, and bone. Take 12-16 inches (30-40cm) of dental floss and wrap it around your middle fingers, leaving about 2 inches (5cm) of floss between the hands. Using your thumbs and forefingers to guide the floss, gently insert the floss between teeth using a sawing motion. Curve the floss into a “C” shape around each tooth and under the gumline. Gently move the floss up and down, cleaning the side of each tooth and under the gumline. Floss holders are recommended if you have difficulty using conventional floss.

Rinsing

It is important to rinse your mouth with water after brushing, and also after meals if you are unable to brush. If you are using an over-the-counter product for rinsing, it’s a good idea to consult with your dentist or dental hygienist on it appropriateness for you.

What is assignment and non-assignment of benefits?

As a service to patients, a dental office may accept assignment of benefits whereby they agree to have the patient request that his or her dental plan provider pay the dental office directly for the percentage of the cost covered. The patient is responsible for paying the co-payment when treatment is provided.

In a non-assignment office, the patient is responsible for paying the full cost of treatment at the time it is provided.

Why do I have to pay for treatment when it’s covered by my plan?

Dental offices are entitled to reimbursement for services at the time treatment is provided. A dental plan is a contract between a patient and /or their dental plan carrier. As a service to patients, some offices will accept assignment of benefits whereby they agree to accept payment for the covered portion of treatment directly from the dental plan provider. Dental office are not obligated to do so, and in some cases, are restricted from doing so as the dental plan carrier will only reimburse the patients.

Sweets and Teeth

Everyone knows that sweets are bad for your teeth. But, did you know that the amount of sweet food you eat is not as important as the length of time your teeth are exposed to sweets? Eat sweets at mealtime rather than between meals. The amount of saliva produced at that time will help protect your teeth.

Abscessed Tooth

An abscessed tooth is a pocket of pus, usually caused by some kind of infection and the spread of bacteria from the root of the tooth to the tissue just below or near the tooth. Several treatments, aimed at curing tooth infections, exist: Including gum therapy and root canals.

Brushing Techniques

Since everyone’s teeth are different, see me first before choosing a brushing technique. Not all techniques can benefit everyone!

Bad breath

In most cases, it is caused by food remaining in the mouth – on the teeth, tongue, gums, and other structures, collecting bacteria. Dead and dying bacterial cells release a sulfur compound that gives your breath an unpleasant odor. Once the food is absorbed into the bloodstream, it is transferred to the lungs, where it is exhaled.

Canker/Cold Sores

In most cases, patience is the best medicine for treating canker sores. A healthy diet and good oral hygiene are usually the best remedy, but some special rinses and anesthetics can help. Cold sores can be treated effectively with some over-the-counter topical creams; sometimes, an antiviral medication will be prescribed by your doctor.

Cavities

If you have any of the following symptoms, you may have a cavity:

  • Unusual sensitivity to hot and cold water or foods.
  • A localized pain in your tooth or near the gum line.
  • Teeth that change color.

Diabetes

Infections and other problems such as receding gums and gum disease, or periodontal disease, are common afflictions among diabetics for many reasons; for instance, diabetics often are plagued by diminished saliva production, which can hamper the proper cleansing of cavity-causing debris and bacteria from the mouth. In addition, blood sugar levels that are out of balance could lead to problems that promote cavities and gum disease.

Diabetes

Infections and other problems such as receding gums and gum disease, or periodontal disease, are common afflictions among diabetics for many reasons; for instance, diabetics often are plagued by diminished saliva production, which can hamper the proper cleansing of cavity-causing debris and bacteria from the mouth. In addition, blood sugar levels that are out of balance could lead to problems that promote cavities and gum disease.

Gum Disease

Early warning signs include chronic bad breath, tender or painful swollen gums and minor bleeding after brushing or flossing. In many cases, however, gingivitis can go unnoticed. The infections can eventually cause the gums to separate from the teeth, creating even greater opportunities for infection and decay.

NOTE: If gingivitis goes untreated, more serious problems such as abscesses, bone loss or periodontitis can occur.

Tooth Implants

Archeologists have uncovered attempts at dental implants in mummies found in ancient Egypt. Over the centuries this concept has been attempted in a variety of ways, but has been unsuccessful until recently.

There is now over 40 years of experience with dental implants. The success rates have been measured worldwide. Over 95% of the implants placed into the jaw have a greater than 5 years success rate. Loss of implants after 5 years is extremely rare.

Learn more about dental implants.

Oral Hygiene Tips

There is a growing body of medical evidence that shows that the inflammation that results due to the infection in the mouth may be closely linked to other diseases such as diabetes and heart disease, and in severe cases can even lead to respiratory infection like pneumonia.

  • Flossing is the foundation for healthy gums, so floss your teeth once a day. Dental floss will get into areas between your teeth and under your gums that your toothbrush cannot. Slide the floss between your teeth and wrap it into a “C” shape around the base of the tooth and gently under the gumline. Wipe the tooth from base to tip two or three times. Be sure to floss both sides of every tooth.
  • Brush your teeth twice a day, and make sure to brush your teeth after you floss, as this is a more effective method of cleaning your teeth. Use a soft bristled tooth brush (safer on your gums) and a circular motion that moves the brush bristles ‘away’* from the gums *on the top arch, this would mean you are brushing in a circular direction which is top-down; on the bottom arch, you would be brushing in a bottom-to-top circular motion. Use care to not speed through brushing, taking at least 2-3 minutes to do a thorough job.
  • Eat a well balanced diet, avoiding excessive snacking between meals, especially sticky, sugary foods.
  • Use either a fluoride or antiseptic rinse as directed by the dentist or hygienist.
  • Avoid smoking

Oral Cancer

Oral cancer is one of the most common cancers today and has one of the lowest survival rates, with thousands of new cases being reported each year. Fewer than half of all people diagnosed with oral cancer are ever cured. Here are some additional warning signs:

  • Hoarseness or difficulty swallowing.
  • Unusual bleeding or persistent sores in the mouth that won’t heal.
  • Lumps or growths in other nearby areas, such as the throat or neck.

Tips for Your Children

The first dental appointment for children should be after the child turns 6 months of age and before their first birthday. The reason for such an early appointment is because the primary (first) teeth should have started to erupt and this is the time to detect anything of concern. Some of the issues that could cause problems are thumb sucking and baby bottle tooth decay.

Smoking

Studies also confirm that smokers are twice as likely to develop periodontal (gum) disease than non-smokers and have a higher than average risk for poor oral health. Tobacco kills more than 40,000 Canadians a year – exceeding the number of deaths from illegal drugs.

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Our Address Suite #1460 - 220 Laurier Ave W, Ottawa, ON K1P 5Z9

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Hours Monday – Thursday:  8:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Friday:  8:00 AM – 1:00 (hygiene now available)