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How often should you go to the dentist?

Why should I see a dentist if my teeth don’t hurt?

Your Smile is important and the health of your teeth has an impact on your overall health. But what if your teeth feel and look great to you?

Many people still believe that unless they are experiencing pain or have broken a tooth, it’s not necessary to see a dentist for regular examinations, but in a healthy mouth you shouldn’t be feeling any pain or sensitivity with your teeth!

 


“Pain should not be the only factor that makes you decide to go to the dentist.”


 

The fact is, dental pain is usually a warning that you have left an undetected problem too long.

Each tooth has a soft inner core consisting of blood vessels, lymphatic tissue and a nerve center. It plays an important role in the growth and development of the tooth, but once the tooth comes into the mouth, it is the lifeline that brings nutrients to the tooth and also sends out sensory signals in response to trauma and disease.

If you have ever broken a tooth or have had a painful cavity, you know the pain signals that your nerve sends out as a warning! However, it is actually located far enough away from the tooth’s outer surface that by the time an advancing cavity reaches the nerve it is usually too late to repair the problem with a simple fix.

The fact is, many oral disease are silent. We usually think that if our teeth are “quiet” that they are healthy, but you have to treat your oral health as you would your overall health.

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Regular maintenance check-up exams allows us to catch and manage the early signs of disease, before they become bigger, more complicated issues. At Your Smile Dental Care, we are here to help our patients restore their smiles to optimal dental health so that their future focus can be on prevention! We think that by encouraging our patients to maintain regular check-ups and cleanings and teaching them how to prevent dental problems before they occur is time well spent.

How often should you be going to the dentist?

That depends!

Our recommendations are based on your own individual, “specific to you”  oral health, medical conditions and lifestyle habits. Maintaining regular professional dental care allows us to monitor and evaluate your oral health and advise you accordingly.

Some people see us twice a year for their regular check-ups and cleanings, while others, who have more tartar build-up or who are at a higher risk for cavities and gum disease, need more frequent visits. It is important to understand that there are many changes in our lives that can impact our oral health and change the schedule of our dental visits.

 


“Even if you maintain an excellent oral care routine and always have good check-ups, you still need to continue a proactive attitude to help ensure that you and your dentist can always stay on top of things.”


 

And, it is especially important to take care of your teeth and seek professional dental care if you are in one of the following high risk groups below:

  • smoke or use tobacco products
  • are pregnant
  • have diabetics
  • have current gum disease
  • have a weak immune system
  • tend to get cavities or build up plaque
  • suffer from *dry mouth (see below)
  • have limited dexterity
  • have poor dietary habits
  • Snack frequently or sip a beverage other than water all day
  • have bulimia or acid reflux

*Dry Mouth: If you suffer from dry mouth your oral health may be at risk. People can develop dry mouth for a number if reasons, especially if they have:

  • diseases, such as bulimia, Sjögren’s syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes mellitus or pernicious anemia, that alter the flow rate or content of saliva,
  • are receiving chemotherapy with drugs that cause xerostomia
  • are receiving radiation therapy directed to the head or neck.

 

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Early Detection

Knowing that here are also a number of oral health problems that can exist before you even begin to have symptoms will better help you understand why seeing your dentist regularly is so important for your oral health. We want to catch and treat problems early before they become more complicated.

If you’ve put off regular dental care – for whatever reason – do not delay any further. Your Smile is important!

 

 

Yours in Better Dental Health,
The Your Smile Dental Care team
(905) 576-4537
(416) 783-3533
www.yoursmiledentalcare.com

 


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The New Patient Exam

 

 

Because there is a doctor shortage in Ontario, most people do not have the luxury of choice once an opening in a practice becomes available. They either accept the physician available or wait further.

However, dentists are plentiful in many Ontario cities. Nonetheless, having too many choices can also frustrate your search for a new dentist. Life is busy and oftentimes too many choices can be overwhelming.

If finding “the one” is proving to be more difficult than you anticipated, we hope that you will find all the information you are looking for in our blog:   Tips: Choosing A New Dentist

What is involved in a New Patient Exam when you see a new dentist?

We get many calls to our office from people asking if we are accepting new patients. At Your Smile Dental Care, we love welcoming new people to our dental family. Your first phone call to our office is the first step in understanding what to expect during your first visit and how to prepare for it.

 

Record Transfer

Your previous dental history often provides information that may be vital to your future care with a new dentist. As such, your dental records can be transferred from your previous dentist to our office by signing a release form that gives your current dentist permission to transfer your private dental information. Because this is a process that dental offices carry out routinely, records are usually transferred in a cooperative and timely fashion so that they can be reviewed by our staff before you come in for your first appointment.

Alternatively, some people prefer to begin this process at their current dental office. The key point is that this undertaking requires your signature. Some offices simplify this process by sending you the documentation to your mobile device for an electronic signature or for you to print, sign, then photo capture before sending back. The idea is to get the process started quickly and efficiently so that there is no interruption in patient care.

 

Booking Your Appointment

Once the records are received and reviewed, a New Patient appointment can be scheduled for a convenient date and time. Sometimes, this appointment can be booked in advance and in anticipation of receiving your dental history records promptly. Knowing what to expect during your first visit depends on your individual dental needs – be they Check-up, Emergency or Consultation

The 3 Types of New Patient Exams

 

1. The Complete Exam

Because you will be a new patient to the office, you will have a full exam even though you may be due for your periodic check-up exam.

Why do you need a full exam?

Many things can alter your oral health care in between dental visits. As a new patient to our office, it is necessary to evaluate and become familiar with your dental and medical history and current status before we even pick up any instruments to clean your teeth. This initial exam is a very important step and consists of a detailed and thorough exam and information gathering session. It will include:

  • A review of your medical and dental history
  • An examination of all oral structures in your mouth, not only your teeth
  • Your teeth will be checked for things like decay, wear, damage, bite, mobility etc.
  • Your gums will be examined for pocket depths, bleeding, recession, and overall health
  • An oral cancer screening will be performed
  • Your past dental work will be checked for signs of damage, wear, fracturing, looseness, etc.
  • We determine if x-rays will be necessary to help us access and identify areas of concern
  • As we examine we chart of all this data
  • When we move onto the cleaning phase of this appointment, we continue to analyse your dental health
  • We will discuss al findings with yo and recommendations will be made, including any treatment plan going forward
  • Of course, we will encourage you to share your thoughts and concerns with us during this examination

Naturally, all of this takes times and is a crucial step in getting to know you, your health and your individual needs.  The more we know about you and your overall health, the more effective we can be in addressing your dental care needs. Your subsequent dental cleaning will then be tailored to your “specific to you” needs. For any future dental check-ups, we will have a baseline and reference point that allows us to provide continuity of care.

 

2. The Immmediate Exam 

If your dental concern is of an immediate or emergency nature, then you are likely seeking an appointment as soon as possible. Understand that there is a difference, however, between what is considered an emergency and a non-emergency issue.

A true dental emergency is typically anything that involves any dental issue that requires immediate attention in order to save a tooth, if there has been a traumatic injury involving bleeding of the mouth or if you need relief from severe pain. Most offices can accommodate you into their same or next day’s schedule with the anticipation of providing you with an assessment then determining what form of relief or temporary treatment can be offered immediately. A discussion will then take place concerning what long term remedies may be necessary for your “specific to you” dental issue.

A non-emergency new patient appointment would concern a dental problem that poses no immediate threat to your teeth or life, as in often the case with infections or trauma. Some examples are a lost fillings, chipped tooth, moderate pain/discomfort that you can manage with some pain relief, or the recementing of fixed dental work like crowns, bridge or braces.

 

3. The Consultation Exam

Perhaps you do not have an immediate problem, but are looking to move forward with some elective or comprehensive dental treatment. You may just wish to have a dentist offer you some treatment options or a 2nd opinion. This is especially common with patients who are interested in teeth straightening, implants, cosmetic treatment or complete dental makeovers.

This no-hassle, first New Patient appointment will likely consist of some information gathering and a discussion about your “unique to you” dental situation. A visual exam can only yield so much information. Having current radiographs or other pertinent dental records available for this visit will allow the dentist to assess your current dental status more accurately before offering an informed recommendation. For more complicated issues, sometimes a secondary visit is necessary. Which brings us to…

 

Why do different dentist offer different treatment plans?

 

 

No two patients are alike and that is important to understand when you are comparing your dental options with another person. The confusion arises when different dentists offer different recommendations for the same patient. It is important to understand that you are fortunate if you have more than one option available to you. It means you have choices!

Your dentist is there to help you make an informed decision based your dental health, finances, values and your commitment to maintaining a healthy mouth moving forward. Dentists, themselves, come to their conclusions based on a variety of factors including training, occupational experience, office technology, passion, thoroughness of patient assessment, confidence in patient’s future compliance/efforts, prognosis,  and whether they are conservative or progressive in their approach to patient care.

Lastly, it can also be a challenging situation if a person is looking for a quick, inexpensive and long-term solution for rather complex dental issue.

How can you prepare for your first visit to a new dental office?

There is some information that must be gathered in order to ensure that there is continuity of care and to identify any medical issues or medications that can challenge your dental care going forward. To ensure that all information pertinent to your care is available to your new office, be prepared to bring with you or arrange for the following:

  1. Updated medication list.
  2. Family doctor’s name and telephone number.
  3. Details surrounding any current medical treatment you are receiving.
  4. Your dental insurance information. Most people have a dental ID card that has been issued to them by their employer/school. In the absence of this, be prepared to have your insurance information written down including – Name of employer, Name of Insurer, Policy and ID number
  5. If you are anticipating that your first visit will be an expense covered by your insurer then you will likely want to ensure this. Your new dental office will usually work with you to gather this information and will likely be part of the records release process from your previous dentist in addition to contacting your insurer.
  6. The need to take a prophylactic antibiotic before any dental treatment is a decision that should be made in consultation with your physicians and is a matter that should be reviewed regularly. If you have been advised to continue being pre-medicated before dental treatments, inform your new office in order to ensure that you are prepared for treatment.
  7. Confirm your appointment the day before you arrive to ensure that all pertinent information has been received
  8. Don’t forget to brush and floss your teeth!

 

We hope that you now have a clearer understanding of what different new patient visits consists of. To make an appointment at Your Smile Dental Care or to get more information about your first visit, call us at (905) 5SMILES. You’ll be glad you did!

 

Yours in Better Dental Health,
The Your Smile Dental Care team
(905) 576-4537
(416) 783-3533
http://www.yoursmiledentalcare.com

 


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Back To School Check List

Back to school already?  Where did the summer go?

No doubt, the next month will begin the mad rush to get kids, both young and old, back to school again. Ideally, during the earlier summer weeks is the ideal time to schedule dental checkups and finish up with any outstanding treatment well before the end of summer rush. You can help your children get a head start on the school year with these healthy dental choices:

Snacking – Reducing the amount of times throughout the day that your child eats is one of the most significant lifestyle changes you can help them make. This can be frustratingly difficult in the school setting where snacks abound and parents understandably tire of creating new and healthy packed lunches everyday. The problem is that many of our foods contain naturally occurring or added sugar/starches that result in bacterial acid attacks upon the tooth surfaces. It takes saliva 4-5 hours to repair this damage. It is no exaggeration when we say that many children eat 7 times/day including in between beverages. Parents are fortunate that many simple, dentally healthy food ideas can be found readily online that can help reduce the frustration associated with the dreaded “packing school lunches” blues.

Safety – Most injuries to the teeth are unexpected but avoidable. Supervision and protective face/mouth gear should always be an important consideration before the activities and sports begin NOT an afterthought! Dental sports guards significantly reduce the risk of mouth injuries and are available at your nearest pharmacy or you can have a custom one made for your child at your dental office for added protection. Other habits such as chewing on pens/pencils, and using the teeth to “open” containers/packages can result in chipped and fractured teeth.

Dental Care – According to the Canadian Dental Association, an estimated 2.26 million school days are missed by children every year because of dental pain – not to mention the unplanned time parents have to take off work to bring them to the dentist. Maintaining a regular dental checkup routine for your child and helping them to create a consistent schedule for brushing and flossing at home not only introduces healthy habits for life, but helps to reduce the likelihood of unexpected toothaches and subsequent absences that can occur during school time.

Cavities are 100% preventable

Sealants – Bacteria and food can accumulate easily into the grooves and pits found along the biting surface of back teeth. A special dental material can be placed onto these areas to help protect them from bacteria and acids that cause cavities. Usually, sealants are placed on the back adult molars as soon as they emerge into the mouth and are added protection for these teeth during your child’s cavity prone years.

Back to School Supplies – If you can’t remember the last time your replaced your child’s tooth brush then it’s probably time to do so! Replacing last year’s school supplies with new ones is a great opportunity to help your child choose a new toothbrush to replace their old one. Then they will be ready for a new one come the winter holiday time and again when they return to school after March Break!

 

Whether you still have time to schedule your children a dental appointment before the first day of school begins or would rather wait until you have their daily school routines established ~ do not delay. Our schedule fills up quickly this time of year! Give us a call today at (905) 576-4537.

Enjoy the rest of the summer season and here’s to a safe and happy school year!

 

The Your Smile Dental Care team,
(905) 576-4537
(416) 783-3533
www.yoursmiledentalcare.com

 


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Crowns for Baby Teeth

Stainless Steel Crowns

My Dentists wants to put crowns on my child’s teeth. This seems like an extreme measure since they will eventually fall out anyways!

Usually, dentists repair decayed teeth with filling material. However, when teeth are badly broken down by the cavity (decay) process, have had nerve treatment or are weakened by a developmental condition, replacing almost the entire crown portion of a tooth with traditional filling material is not always a practical nor secure solution.

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A remedy must be found that allows the tooth to withstand the forces of biting and chewing  long enough for the incoming adult tooth to replace it – which could be many years.

Replacing the diseased crown of a tooth with a durable stainless steel crown (silver caps) is the most economical and durable solution until the tooth falls out and is replaced with the permanent (adult) tooth. These caps are not made in a lab like permanent adult crowns are. They come ready made in a variety of shapes and sizes, no impressions need to be taken, and there is no additional lab fees associated with their costs.  Additionally, they are categorized under  “routine restorative” so most insurance policies cover them as basic treatment. They are just another way to restore baby teeth so that they can function.

Why not just pull the tooth?

11-16-2016-7-58-51-pmThis is a common question, and sometimes, the teeth are not repairable and must be removed. However, taking out teeth before their natural time is a “last resort” solution. Baby teeth are vital to the dentition as natural space holders for the permanent teeth. Their premature removal will interfere with the eruption of the adult teeth.

Removing a baby tooth before its time is not the end of the problem. The space where the baby tooth was removed must still be replaced with a spacer maintaining appliance so that the adjacent teeth will not start to move into and invade this important place.

The chart below shows the normal eruption pattern of primary and permanent teeth. You will notice that there are many years between the emergence of the baby teeth and the age at which the adult teeth will eventually arrive in the mouth to replace them.

 

Permanent (Adult) Teeth

During a child’s teenage years, The adult teeth continue to develop there is significant growth and development of the dentition and jaws. This needs to be taken into consideration when restoring a badly broken down adult tooth in a child.

If you refer back to the eruption chart, you will notice that the first permanent teeth begin to erupt around 6 years of age.

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From the illustration above, you can see that if a baby tooth becomes badly broken down by decay or a developmental condition when the child is still young, a suitable interim solution needs to be found until the permanent adult teeth are ready to emerge into position. Stainless steel crowns become an effective, affordable and practical semi-temporary measure until then.

Stainless steel crowns have been around for over 75 years and are safe and effective. They are easy to keep clean and rarely allow decay to reoccur. Although, some parents may not like the metallic appearance of the steel crowns,  since baby molars are in the back of the mouth, they are less noticeable.

All of this makes them an affordable and effective treatment solution for an otherwise serious problem.

We hope you have found this article informative. Please visit and subscribe to our blog to learn more about Your Smile Dental Care.

 

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Yours in Better Dental Health,
The Your Smile Dental Team
(905) 576-4537
(416) 783-3533
www.yoursmiledentalcare.com

 

 

 

 


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Retained Primary Teeth

22-02-2016 1-50-43 PMChildren hit many different milestones in their young lives with some children reaching developmental stages well before others. It’s not uncommon for parents to be concerned and seek our opinion when their child does not lose their baby teeth on time.

While there is a usual pattern and time frame for teeth to emerge into the mouth and others to be lost, as dentists, we begin to become concerned when a tooth/teeth goes well beyond these expected dates and there is a significant delay.

There are several common reasons for what we called “retained” baby teeth. A dental clinical and x-ray examination will determine why the baby tooth is failing to fall out (exfoliate). Afterwards, the dentist will decide whether to extract the baby tooth or keep it in the dentition.

It is not uncommon to find differences in treatment options amongst dentists as there are many factors to consider before deciding on a treatment plan, such as preserving bone, aesthetics, function and maintaining contact with surrounding and opposing teeth be preserved.

Incomplete root resorption

Have you ever wondered why only the crown portion of a baby tooth falls out? This is because the root portion of the tooth dissolves away. Sometimes, the roots do not get resorbed equally or completely. The course of action that the dentist will take often depends on the location and position of the adult tooth. Because the baby teeth are natural space holders, removing them too early can interfere with space that is needed for the eventually arrival of the adult tooth. A dentist may wait for the baby roots to eventually disappear or may help the process along by removing the final portions of the baby tooth to allow the underlying adult tooth to emerge.

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Bone Fusion

22-02-2016 2-19-13 PMUnder normal conditions the teeth and bone do not touch, rather, they are connected by way of tiny hair-like fibers. Think of how a trampoline mat is connected to the supporting steel frame by way of tension springs. In this way, the tooth is free to move slightly so it can withstand the forces exerted upon it during chewing. Sometimes, however, teeth become directly attached to it’s surrounding bone. Treatment depends on whether or not there is an adult tooth present underneath the baby tooth.

a) Adult Tooth present – If the baby tooth is fused to the bone AND has an adult tooth to replace it then your dentist will likely extract the tooth. A space maintaining device will be placed on the adjacent teeth in order to keep this space available for the future incoming adult tooth. The area and adult tooth will then be monitored during it’s own eruption process for any signs of abnormality.

b) Adult Tooth Absent – If the baby tooth is fused to the bone and DOES NOT have an adult to replace it then the decision of extraction versus retention becomes a more complicated issue and bone preservation becomes a very important consideration.

i) Maintain – If the retained baby tooth is of sound structure and is in a good position to function (chew) with the other teeth then your dentist will likely opt to keep this tooth in the dentition and monitor it over the years. It is not uncommon to find many older adults that still have a retained baby tooth. Good oral hygiene is very important as there is no adult tooth to replace this tooth. If the tooth is lost eventually, then a dental implant can be considered.

ii) Maintain with Modifications – This is often the case when the tooth is submerged somewhat and is therefore lower in height and dimensionally smaller than the adjacent teeth. If the dentist decides that that the tooth is viable enough to be kept in the mouth, a few modification may have to be done to the tooth in order for it to function properly and have contact with all surrounding and opposing teeth.  The tooth can be built up and reshaped in order to achieve function, but the tooth and surrounding bone will have to be closely monitored over the years.

 iii) Extraction – If the baby tooth is removed now, the resulting space will have to be preserved with a space maintaining device until a future implant can be considered. The dentist may opt to perform a procedure called decoronation, whereby the crown portion is removed from the tooth and the site left to heal over. It is believed that important supporting fibers will then reconnect with the adjacent permanent teeth present. As these neighbouring teeth advance in their eruption process, the bone height and width can be maintained for many years until an implant can be considered.

Adult Tooth Misalignment

2-26-2016 1-05-43 PMUnerupted – If the developing adult tooth is “stuck” in it’s position underneath, in the bone, the baby tooth may also be delayed in falling out. There are dental procedures that can help move the adult tooth along in it’s eruption process and eventually into position in the dentition. Your dentist may send you to an orthodontist for further evaluation. In consultation with the orthodontist, both short and long term solutions can be discussed that is unique to your child. Today, interceptive orthodontic treatment can go a long way in preventing the need for more extensive orthodontic treatment in the future.

Erupted – It is not uncommon to have adult teeth come into the mouth in front of or behind the baby tooth it’s suppose to replace. Removal of the baby tooth will depend on the position of the adult tooth, in which arch (upper or lower) this is occurring and at what stage of “falling out” the baby tooth is in. Although seeing permanent teeth erupt out of position when the baby teeth are still present is an unsettling thing for parents to see occur, it is a common situation. Once the baby teeth fall out or are removed, the adult tooth will eventually move into place naturally or with the assistance of orthodontia.

Lastly,

We cannot emphasize enough the importance of regular dental check-ups. Dental development and eruption problems are more common than one would think. Missing teeth can be caused by a number of things including genetics, injury, infection and endocrine disorders.

As challenging as some cases may be, with today’s advances in dentistry, there are now a variety of short and long term solutions available for consideration.  Early diagnosis and intervention is often an important consideration in planning for a healthy tomorrow.

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Yours in Better Health,
The Your Smile Dental Care team
(905) 576-4537
(416) 783-3533
www.yoursmiledentalcare.com

 

 

 

 

 


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Tips for Teething

Teething Tots

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Sometimes, it just seems so unfair. Just when you get to that stage in a baby’s life when they’re finally sleeping through the night the Terrible Teething phase begins.

What most parents want to know is how long the teething stage will last and what are some of the most effective remedies that we would recommend.

Unfortunately, we can not predict how long nor how severe your baby’s teething will be. It may surprise you to learn that some babies are born with teeth!

Generally speaking, however, teething can begin as early as 3 months of age and ends with the emergence of the last primary teeth – the second molars. Knowing that these last teeth will arrive between the ages of 2 to 3 doesn’t make the idea of teething any more thrilling, but usually there are some periods of relief in between each type of tooth’s appearance. Hopefully, you’ll learn what works best for your child along the way, making each teething period more tolerable than the last.

Know the Signs

Teething

 

The signs of tooth eruption will usually begin before the first tooth pokes through the gums. Symptoms can last for just a few short days while the new tooth emerges, or as long as several months if they come in close succession.

Drooling, fever, irritability, tender and swollen gums, and trouble sleeping are all common during teething. Your baby may also be more fussy at mealtimes, grab at their face and ears, and have looser bowel movements.

When to worry

Oftentimes, you may notice several of these symptoms together, however, some symptoms should not be dismissed. If your baby is experiencing a fever, diarrhea, vomiting or a fever lasting more than 24 hours you should have it checked out by a physician.

Ways to Soothe

Not all babies are fussy during their teething periods. If you’re asking, there’s lots of people and plenty of online sites willing to give advice on how to soothe your teething child. Some methods work, some don’t, while some can be actually dangerous  like this still trendy item. You will soon find out what works best for your bay.

Consider some of these simple tips to begin with:

  • Drooling – Excessive drooling, although part of the teething process, can cause skin irritation that can become sore and chapped. Rubbing your04-01-2016 10-18-29 AM baby’s wet chin can also start to irritate the skin after a while. When drying your baby’s chin with a clean cloth, use soft, dabbing motions then apply a water-based moisturizing cream or lotion.
  • Pressure – Try rubbing your baby’s aching gums with slight pressure using a clean finger or clean, moistened cloth/gauze.
  • Cold therapy –  Cold therapy can be a great reliever of discomfort. With babies, however, you have to be careful not to use extreme cold as it can harm the tender tissues of the mouth, lips, gums and even hands. There are products on the market that you can freeze, but we recommend using a chilled cloth, pacifier, spoon or teething ring and always under supervision. Be sure to check teething items often for signs of wear and breakage.
  • Gnawing – Babies seems to naturally grab onto anything and put it in their mouths. The pressure associated with biting on hard items can be soothing. If your child has moved onto solid foods, you can chill hard foods such as whole carrots or celery and allow them to gnaw on it.  They can hold the food with their hands or you can put the food item into a meshed product that is designed specifically for this purpose. There are teething cookies available that are both nutritious and shaped for handling. Again, close supervision is a must for any pieces that may break off and become a choking hazard.
  • Chilled foods – You can offer them their foods chilled if they will take it. There are products that are designed for self feeding of pureed foods. By placing pureed foods into the mesh container your baby will be able to chew and suck on the food without the risk of choking.
  • Pain relievers – Consult your baby’s physician if you choose to use an over the counter pain reliever as a remedy for teething. Understand the difference between  acetaminophen and  ibuprofen. Both are pain relievers. Ibuprofen reduces inflammation (swelling and redness), tends to last a little longer, but must be given with food to avoid stomach upset. It is not recommended for babies under 6 months of age.  Acetaminophen is milder on the stomach, but is not an anti-inflammatory. If you are unsure of the correct dosage, intake frequency or the potential side effects, always consult your doctor or pharmacist as this information is especially crucial for your baby’s welfare. Beware of teething medications that contain Benzocaine – a local anesthetic. It is found in common pain relievers for sore gums (Anbesol, Hurricaine, Orajel, Baby Orajel, and Orabase) and has been linked to a rare, but serious condition called methemoglobinemia that interferes with blood oxygen.
  • Alcohol – No matter how much someone may insist that whiskey is the best natural pain reliever, we cannot recommend it use.

Late Teeth

It is not uncommon for parents to be concerned when no tooth has appeared by 8 months of age, especially when they see other babies getting their teeth. There is a usual and customary pattern of eruption, but some children’s teeth are slower to appear.

If you see no other signs of impaired development, especially with respect to bones, skin and hair, there probably isn’t anything to be concerned about. However, by about 18 months teeth should be starting to emerge into the mouth. We expect that all 20 teeth should have made their arrival by 3 years of age.

Use this chart as a reference guide:

BGC

Your Child’s First Visit

A good recommendation to follow is to have your child’s first dental visit by age one years of age since tooth decay can occur as soon as teeth are present in the mouth. We call this 1st Dental Visit at 1st Birthday.  An early visit to our office is a good opportunity to acquaint your child with going to the dentist and allows us to examine your child’s dental development and discuss things like:

1. How to properly care for their teeth and mouth.

2. Dental development including teething and losing teeth.

3. Why tooth decay occurs and how to prevent it.

4. Proper dietary habits for healthy teeth.

5. Habits such as snacking, sippy cups, night time bottles, thumb sucking, pacifiers and tongue thrusting.

6. How to prevent some of the common accidents that can occur affecting the mouth and teeth.

04-01-2016 10-22-47 AMThere is an increasing number of children developing preschool cavities. Prevention is what every parent should be aiming for with regards to their child’s overall health. It has been our experience that the sooner children begin learning about the importance of proper oral care and having regular dental visits, the more likely that they will have healthier teeth in their adult years.

No one want a child’s first visit to the dentist be a repair visit because of dental decay, infection, neglect or due to an emergency accident. It takes time to build a trusting relationship with healthcare providers and every child is different.

If starting your child’s dental health off right sounds like a good idea, give us a call today!

At Your Smile Dental Care, we believe that kids like to have fun. We know from experience that introducing your child to the dentist at an early age and in a positive, relaxed manner will help them come to see dental visits as routine so they can avoid future apprehension.

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Yours in Better Dental Health,

The Your Smile Dental Care Team
(905) 576-4537
(416) 783-3533
www.yoursmiledentalcare.com

 

 

Parents in the Dental Treatment Room

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We treat many children in our practice. We also have many patients that have “grown up” in our practice. Caring for children can be challenging, but also very rewarding. It is tremendously satisfying to gain a child’s trust after managing their care under trying circumstances.

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It takes a village…

Seeing their confidence grow and knowing that they are leaving our office with a sense of accomplishment and pride makes everyone’s effort worthwhile. And when we say effort, we mean everyone’s – ours, the child and their parents/caregivers.

The influence parents/caregivers have over their child’s attitudes towards dental health and responsibility makes their role very significant to us and our efforts. Although, we may agree on what an ideal child patient may be like, there is not really what you would call a “typical” child patient. That is because the behaviours, needs and temperaments of children differ so vastly. In fact, a child may behave one way one day and entirely different the next visit. At Your Smile Dental Care we are parents ourselves, and as such, will treat you child as we would want our own children treated.

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Our goal is to complete the planned treatment safely and effectively and provide as comfortable and enjoyable an experience as possible. To accomplish this, we need the co-operation of both the child and parent. This brings into mind the question of …

Parents in the treatment room

We believe that you know your child best. You are oftentimes their only advocate. In the best interests of your child, we all must be on the same page when it comes to managing a fearful or difficult situation. Your child’s focus and attention is an essential part of allowing us to delivery safe, quality care. It is with this in mind that we offer the following guidelines to help to ensure the success of your child’s visit:

Anxious Parents
09-03-2015 4-47-39 PMOftentimes, a child’s visit to our office can be more distressing for a parent than the child. Parents can unknowing transmit their own anxieties and fears to their child which, in turn, can affect their attitudes and responses. Sometimes, we find ourselves having to manage both the patient and the parent. You help your child and our team by remaining in control when your child is feeling out of control. If you feel that you are ill-equipped to cope and offer positive support in the treatment room, perhaps you can designate another caregiver to accompany your child in the operatory.  Over time, as trust develops, you may find your own anxiety levels improve to the point where you can be an effective partner during treatment.

Undivided Attention
When we need to give instructions to a child to encourage them to participate responsibly while we care23-11-2015 4-48-30 PM for their teeth, we try to appeal to their age-appropriate sense of obligation, value and logic. However, when there are many distractions in our treatment room, speaking to an apprehensive child and trying to gain their focus and trust can be incredibly difficult. In the treatment room, it is very important that the primary focus and interaction remain between the dental team and the child so that communication and guidance can take place without distractions or interruptions and that confusion does not arise and complicate matters. It is with these consideration in mind that  most dentists will ask for your cooperation in remaining a silent partner in the treatment room unless otherwise asked for asked to your assistance and emotional support.

Coming in and out of the treatment room
During dental care can also be extremely disruptive to both the child and dental team. We offer a chair for you to sit on during the dental procedure. If you prefer to read to pass the time along, we have plenty of magazines in the greeting area or invite you to bring your own material.

One family member only in the treatment room
It goes without saying that more than one family member in the room can be a tremendous distraction for the patient and dental team and the room can become crowded and disruptive. Informal checkup visits may allow for a more playful “family experience” in the treatment room, but the care we deliver during more complex, invasive procedures demands more concentration and order. Designate the parent or caregiver that can best support your child and understand the dental after-care instructions given.

23-11-2015 3-37-08 PMLet us work our magic
We are trained to identify certain behaviours and modify our strategies and techniques accordingly. We are accustomed to anticipating sudden movements or outbursts. Hampering our efforts by distracting your child’s attention with words or gestures can escalate an otherwise manageable scenario. We will certainly call upon you for assistance should your intervention become necessary.

Appreciation
Nothing educates a parent more than having an opportunity to see our efforts and the efforts of their child firsthand. Watching our dental team perform helps most parents gain a new appreciation and understanding for the skills needed to navigate an encounter while still providing their child with a positive patient experience.

23-11-2015 4-37-17 PMNegative words
Although a parent’s intention may be honourable, phrases like, “It’s not going to hurt” can be incorrect or misleading. Your words alone can arouse fear and anxiety where none may have existed. Not all fearful children are uncooperative. Likewise, not all uncooperative children are fearful.

Unaccompanied children
Sometimes, children behave and concentrate better without their parent in the room. If you feel this applies to your child or would like to foster independence, you can always stand just outside the room within ear and eyeshot.

Building Relationships
Appreciate that we are trying to establish the type of trusting relationship with your child that will foster a long term healthy, positive and responsible attitude towards their well being that will hopefully remain with them throughout their lives. To do this we need your support. Your own positive words and attitudes are tremendously infectious.

Other concerns that come to mind

Mood – It has been our experience that young children are much more emotionally 23-11-2015 4-15-11 PMcooperative between the hours of 9am and 12pm when they are rested, alert and have not spent a long, tiring day at school, possibly worrying about their upcoming appointment. This is an especially important consideration when it is a nervous child’s first visit. Nothing is gained when we expect the best from someone when they are at their worst.

Preparation – Parents have the ability to shape their children’s behaviour and how they deal with their feelings. We understand that keeping a positive attitude when discussing your child’s upcoming visit, without giving them any false hope or misleading details, can be challenging. If you suspect that your child is extremely apprehensive about their dental appointment and time permits, perhaps you can “drop by” the office to pick up the medical history form you will need to complete for their first appointment. This way, they’ll be able to meet some of the staff and leave with a prize from the treasure box. The encounter will be short and sweet and create a sense of familiarity for their next visit. In the meantime, keep conversations brief and simple. We find that the less said, the better, so try not to include too many details. If you are unsure of something, just say so and tell them they can ask us at their appointment.

23-11-2015 3-51-07 PMDental Language – We all appreciate when complicated, unfamiliar or fearful matters are simplified and explained in terms we understand and can relate to. It helps us be in a better position to make informed decisions and move forward in the problem-solving process. We introduce positive, yet simple language when addressing your child to help breakdown planned treatment into simple terms they can understand and appreciate to help them get through unfamiliar or difficult situations. Our “dental language” may sound over-simplified, but we know it to be an effective way to reduce patient fear and improve behaviour. Our language will grow in sophistication and complexity as your child grows and matures. Our ultimate goal is to equip them the language and knowledge they will need as adults to continue to make wise and informed decisions with respect to their dental health.

Behaviour management techniques – We have seen many children over the years who would not cooperate in other offices. While we are not miracle workers, we do believe in your child and their ability to overcome their fears and anxieties. We are equipped with an array of techniques to identify and manage many different types of behaviours in children in order to complete treatment safely and successfully. Understand however, that if a dentist’s instructions to a child takes on a more serious tone, it is done so with the intent of appealing to a child’s sense of responsibility and to disarm a child’s uncontrollable emotional state. The goal is to not allow a situation to escalate to the point where a child feels less safe and more out of control.

23-11-2015 4-20-21 PMPositive Reinforcements – It is absolutely amazing to see how empowered and confident a child becomes after successfully accomplishing a difficult appointment. The praise that follows helps to strengthen their resolve to trust and behave more positively at their next visit. Your co-operation and trust is also essential in these matters. Together, we can help your child develop courage and create a better dental future for themselves. Children who put forth the effort and determination to succeed should, “Own the moment!”  When good behaviour is rewarded quickly and often, additional value is added and positive attitudes are reinforced and strengthened. A parent’s positive follow-up words, smiles, hugs, high-fives etc. are, most definitely the best reward a child can receive.

04-08-2014 11-54-04 PMPrevious traumatic experience – When we care for a child that has had a previous traumatic experience, they are already armed with some very concrete ideas about dental offices. Our job is to convince them otherwise and this could take several visits before treatment can be initiated. If a child is in immediate pain or injured, then the dentist is faced with having to accomplish treatment and try to change some of the child’s attitudes and trust issues during the first visit. As dentists, we do our best, but if restoring a child’s teeth will take several , complex treatment appointments, sometimes it is in the child’s best interest to see a children’s specialist where they can be sedated and have all the treatment completed in one visit.

23-11-2015 4-29-58 PMExpectations – There are times when a parent’s expectations for their child and the dental team is just too high or unrealistic. This is especially true in the case where a child has a tremendous amount of treatment necessary. The ultimate goal is to provide the level of care that repairs the dental destruction without further damaging the child psychologically. Together, we can come up with a plan to deliver the care needed while appreciating that children have different abilities and that circumstances differ from child to child and sometimes day to day.

Healthcare is a necessity – Teaching your child that visiting the dentist is a necessity, not a choice, and that the dental team is here to help keep their teeth healthy and beautiful for years to come is one of the best ways to foster a positive attitude. It’s difficult, however,  to teach your children responsibility if you are not demonstrating it in your own life. You can hinder or help your child and their experiences based on you own actions and words, so please consider them carefully.

Lastly…

my-boy-732736-mNo single method or technique can be used for all children nor every visit. Trusting relationships and coping skills form over time and each interaction with your child is an opportunity for us to establish the rapport and approach that best suits your child.

The long term rewards of treating children successfully is seeing the healthy dental attitudes they develop as the grow into adulthood. Helping children triumph brings us our own tremendous feelings of fulfillment, achievement and pride in our chosen profession and demonstrates to us that our efforts are indeed worthwhile and fruitful.

One thing we have learned over our 30 years of experience is to … Never underestimate the capabilities of children!

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The YOUR SMILE Dental Care Team
(905) 576-4537
(416) 783-3533
http://www.yoursmiledentalcare.com

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