Frequently Asked Questions

At Treehouse Dental Care, we know how important your children’s dental health is. Peruse the dentistry FAQs below for everything you need to know about children’s dental care and at-home maintenance.

How do I brush my children’s teeth properly?

The first step is to choose a good toothbrush. Children should use a toothbrush with a small head and soft bristles. Choosing toothpaste that contains fluoride is also important for your children’s dental care routine. Brushing at least 2-4 minutes, at least twice a day, is recommended. Read more about preventative dentistry for kids here.

How should I floss my children’s teeth?

The best way to clean the surface of your children’s teeth is by flossing. The frequency of flossing is similar to brushing and ideally after each meal, though one time a day (before going to bed) is the minimum necessary. Making flossing fun and leading by example are good ways to get your kids involved. Learn more about flossing for kids here.

Which is better for kids: an electric or a manual toothbrush?

Did you know that there are both manual and electric brushes for kids? Although not all electric brushes are the same, studies conclude that general electric brushes are more efficient in controlling plaque than manual brushes. Theoretically, you perform very good brushing with a regular hand brush, but the movements of an electric brush make the task easier and more effective.

How does my children’s dental health affect their diet and vise versa?

We all know that sugar in high quantities can have adverse effects on your body. But did you know that sugar is the main cause of dental decay when there is bacteria present? More significant than the amount of sugar your children consume, is the frequency of consumption. Cutting down on your children’s sugar intake is good for cavity prevention and overall health. Learn more about foods that can cause decay and their healthy alternatives.

Does fluoride prevent decay for children?

Children who were born and raised in areas with natural fluoride in drinking water have fewer cavities than children in other areas. Fluoride absorbed by the body when teeth were formed (during a mother’s pregnancy to early childhood) integrates into the structure of enamel and makes it stronger.

Can nursing or baby bottles cause decay?

Baby bottle tooth decay is the result of frequent, prolonged contact with liquids that contain sugars such as fruit juices, milk, formula or any other sweetened drinks. Human breast milk is also a contributor to baby bottle tooth decay. As the sugars break down in the mouth, bacteria start feeding on the sugars, produce acids and cause tooth decay. If they are left untreated, decaying teeth can cause discomfort and pain in children. Read more about our tips on preventing baby bottle tooth decay.

What are dental sealants?

Sealants are thin layers of resin that are placed on the pits, fissures, and grooves of molars to prevent decay on these surfaces. They are the most effective methods of preventing decay and can help your child maintain a healthy smile.

How do I care for my children’s primary teeth?

Primary teeth are important to the natural development and growth of what will become your children’s permanent smile. Emphasizing healthy oral habits at an early age also promotes good nutrition and encourages a positive self-image. There are some cases where baby teeth are lost too soon and a space maintainer may be recommended.

Is a tongue piercing safe for my kids?

Body piercing has become a popular form of body modification in today’s society. Tongue piercings are one particular procedure with high risks. Despite their popularity, it is important to know the associated risk factors with the piercing process.

There are many health risks involved with oral piercings, some including chipped or cracked teeth, blood clots, blood poisoning, receding gums or scar tissue. Your mouth is home to millions of bacteria that can easily promote infection in an oral piercing. Your tongue could swell large enough to close off your airway, it can affect your speech and can even be a danger if swallowed.

Common symptoms after piercing include pain, swelling, infection, an increased flow of saliva and damage to gum tissue. Difficult to control bleeding or nerve damage can result if a blood vessel or nerve is cut by the piercing needle. Even without complications, healing takes four to six weeks.

What is a pediatric dentist?

Childhood dental habits establish the foundation for oral health during adulthood. By training children about proper hygienic habits at an early age, parents and caregivers can set them up for a lifetime of good oral health. Pediatric dentists are trained to specifically see issues in a child’s oral health that may be left untreated if missed. Find out more about the difference between a general dentist and a pediatric dentist here.

What do I do about my kid’s tooth eruption?

Even though they aren’t visible, a child’s primary teeth begin forming before they are even born. At around the four-month mark, primary teeth begin pushing through the gums. By the age of 3, all 20 primary teeth have surfaced. Parents can use a washcloth with warm water to swab gums to clean a child’s mouth after every meal. Read tips on how to make teething less painful for babies here.

What is the best option for tooth fillings for kids?

When considering tooth fillings, one of the options available is composite fillings which are made from durable plastics that are similar in colour to natural teeth. Because the composite fillings are tooth-coloured, they look more natural and are less noticeable compared to other types of fillings.

What should I expect at my children’s first dental appointment?

Your child’s first dental visit should be scheduled around their first birthday. During this time, the dentist can examine your child’s dental development and address dental issues such as baby bottle decay or any teething tenderness while providing preventive care when needed. Read more about your child’s first dentist visit and how to make it a happy experience.

What is nitrous gas?

Nitrous gas is a blend of oxygen and nitrous oxide. While most children feel comfortable visiting the dentist, some do not. Nitrous gas, or laughing gas, is very safe, rapidly absorbed, and your child will be fully conscious with the ability to maintain all-natural reflexes. Learn more about sedation dentistry options here.

Can I get pulp therapy for kids?

The pulp of a tooth is the inner central core of the tooth and contains blood vessels and nerves. Dental caries (cavities) and trauma to the tooth are the primary reasons for children to undergo pulp therapy. Your child may need pulp therapy if they have tooth pain for no reason, a tooth sensitive to temperature changes, or a broken tooth.

What is the best oral sedation for kids?

Another alternative for helping nervous children relax at the dentist’s office is the use of sedation. When your child becomes so anxious that cooperating becomes difficult for them, sedation is an option. Sedation is a method in which medications are used to help your child relax during the dental visit and allow the doctor to effectively treat your child. Read more about sedation options for your child.

When should I consider space maintainers for my children?

Primary teeth stay in place until a permanent tooth comes in from underneath its position and pushes it out, taking its place in the mouth. Some children lose their primary teeth too early due to accidents or dental disease. When this is the case, a space maintainer may be recommended by your dentist to prevent space loss and future dental problems.

Does a sports mouth guard really protect my children?

Mouth protectors are soft plastic appliances that shape themselves to the upper teeth and are an important sports equipment. Not only do they protect the teeth but they also protect the lips, cheeks, and tongue and can protect your child from serious head injuries such as concussions and jaw fractures.

If your child is involved in a physical activity in which their head is in contact with other players or equipment, then consider getting a mouth guard for your child today. There are various types of appliances available, so call our Toronto office for more information or to schedule an appointment with one of our doctors to find out what type of mouth guard is best for your child.

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