1090 St. Clair Avenue W, Toronto 416-652-7590
How to Keep Your Child’s Mouth Healthy

How to Keep Your Child’s Mouth Healthy

Ensuring that your child has a healthy mouth free of cavities and gum issues is vital, but it can be hard to know what to do to keep their mouth as healthy as possible. Listed below is an essential guide in maintaining the health of your child’s mouth:

  • Before teeth erupt in your baby’s mouth (around 6-10 months old), use a damp cloth to wipe your baby’s gums after milk.
  • Once the first baby teeth erupt (around 6-10 months old), start using a small-headed toothbrush to brush the teeth with water, after milk and before bed. 
  • All of your child’s teeth will be erupted by around 2.5 years old. 
  • There are 20 baby teeth in a full set, 12 front teeth, and eight back teeth. 
  • Reduce soother use and try to eliminate by the age of 2.5
  • To wean a soother, try cutting the tip of the soother off to reduce suction. 
  • Try to eliminate thumb sucking also around 2.5 
  • Both a soother and thumb sucking create a suction that can alter the shape of their jaw and affect how their teeth bite together. 
  • Make sure to brush your baby/child’s teeth after nursing and after bottles of milk. 
  • Never put your baby to bed with a bottle of milk, as exposure to the sugars in the milk can cause cavities. 
  • Begin using a fluoridated toothpaste around three years old, only using a size of the tip of a pen 
  • Bring your baby/child in for their first dental visit around 2.5-3 years old or earlier if there is a specific issue or concern. 
  • If you notice a chip or discoloured spot on your baby/child’s teeth, bring them to the dentist, as this might be a sign of a cavity. 
  • Begin flossing your child’s teeth around four years old. At this time, the spaces between their back molars will close together, increasing the risk for cavities. 
  • Help your child brush and floss their teeth until around the age of 7-8 to prevent the risk of cavities (in particular, at the age of 6, adult molars erupt at the back that is difficult for kids to access on their own) 
  • At any point, if there is trauma to your baby or child’s mouth, bring them immediately to the dentist.
  • If you notice a grey or yellow baby tooth, it may mean there was past trauma, and you should bring them to the dentist for a check. 

If you have any questions about how to keep your baby or child’s mouth healthy, contact us now to schedule an appointment

We Are Still Open!

We Are Still Open!

WE ARE STILL OPEN!

Following the province’s recent COVID-19 lockdown announcement in Ontario, we want to let you know that we are still open! Our dental office will remain open as an essential service to serve you and your family.

Rest assured that we have taken all measures to meet or exceed the recommended sterilization and safety protocols. We have installed medical-grade HEPA air filtration units to continuously recycle the air in each room and in the entire office. As well, all patients are screened before treatment, and all high-touch surfaces are wiped down frequently throughout the day.

It is best to treat dental issues early on before they become painful and result in more costly treatment. Avoiding dental treatment increases your risk of the following:

  • Development of gum disease
  • Progression of gum disease into periodontal disease
  • Increased rate of dental decay if existing dental decay is not detected by dental exam or dental x-rays
  • Lack of oral health monitoring 
  • Reduced cancer screenings during oral checkups

We encourage you to contact our office today to schedule an appointment. 

Importance of Routine Dental Visits for Your Child

Importance of Routine Dental Visits for Your Child

Routine dental visits are essential for all people of any age, starting around three years old. As long as there are teeth present, there is the possibility of cavities, gum disease and any other mouth or tissue abnormality. 

What Happens at Your Child’s Appointment? 

Your child is recommended to have a check-up exam and a dental cleaning at least every six months with their dentist and dental hygienist. During these appointments, your child’s teeth will be completely cleaned with various tools, stains removed with polishing, fluoride treatments provided to prevent cavities, oral hygiene instruction demonstrated and reviewed, and their teeth and mouths thoroughly checked over to assess for health.

A diagnosis will be made regarding their teeth and gums’ health, and any necessary referrals will be made, such as to an orthodontist. These visits are critical times to check in to make sure they are doing an adequate job with their brushing and flossing and to set new goals for them regarding keeping their teeth and gums healthy at home.

keep baby teeth healthy toronto

Common Issues During Exfoliation/ Eruption 

Several common issues occur in children’s mouths when they are losing baby teeth and getting adult teeth, and these issues are looked for and assessed each time your child comes in for their check-up. Periodically, x-rays will be taken to assess the adult teeth’ position under the gums and the health of the baby teeth. Listed below are several common issues that occur in children’s mouths that may affect future spacing and alignment:

  • Premature loss of a baby tooth 
  • Delayed loss of a baby tooth 
  • Eruption of an adult tooth behind a baby tooth
  • Ectopic (meaning out of place) adult canines or any other adult tooth under the gums 
  • Hypoplastic enamel of adult teeth (meaning the enamel didn’t form properly)
  • Extra or missing adult teeth 

A check-up exam and x-rays will give a precise diagnosis if any of these conditions arise, and the necessary steps can be taken. A referral may be made to an orthodontist. A baby tooth may need to be extracted to create space, etc. It is vital to catch these problems as early as possible to create a solution. Make sure to bring your child in every six months for their cleaning and check-up exam. 

If your child is due for their cleaning and check-up exam, or you have any questions about the health of your child’s teeth, we encourage you to contact us today to schedule an appointment. 

What Is Herpetic Gingivostomatitis?

What Is Herpetic Gingivostomatitis?

What Is Herpetic Gingivostomatitis?

Hermetic gingivostomatitis is a viral infection that affects the oral tissues and lips. It’s most common initial outbreak affects children under 5, but can occur in both youth and adulthood. The virus that causes herpetic gingivostomatitis is herpes virus simplex type 1 (HVS1.) There are two main types of the herpes virus: type 1 affecting the mouth, eyes and face, and type 2 affecting the genitals and lower half of the body. By age 35, it is estimated that up to 90% of the population will test positive for HSV1, and 50% of those people have exhibited reactivation of symptoms.

What Causes It? 

The cause of gingivostomatitis is a virus called herpes simplex type 1. Transmission of the virus occurs through oral secretions and saliva. Examples of transmission are sharing utensils, kissing, and children putting unclean hands or objects in their mouths. Reactivation of the virus can be caused by general illness, stress, fatigue and immunosuppression. 

What Are The Symptoms?

The symptoms of initial infection with the HSV1 are fever, general feeling of fatigue, oral blisters and lesions, red puffy gums, irritability and loss of appetite. The initial infection can even cause mild necrosis of gum tissue. The virus lays dormant in a facial nerve (typically the trigeminal ganglia along the jaw) until reactivation. Reactivation of the HSV1 causes cold sores and fever blisters. Reactivation of HSV1 into herpes labialis can be frequent for some people and infrequent for others. 

Treatment Of Herpetic Gingivostomatitis

The treatment for herpetic gingivostomatitis is rest and time. If there is pain, a mild pain relief medication can be used. Typically, the virus and its associated symptoms will go away on their own in a week or less. Treatment for a cold sore/fever blister includes over-the-counter anti-viral medication, pain relief medication, lip balms and stress-relieving techniques. In all cases, hydration is essential and helps speed up healing. 

If you believe your child may be experiencing symptoms of herpetic gingivostomatitis, or you have any questions about the herpes simplex virus, we encourage you to contact our office today to schedule an appointment.  

All You Need To Know About Canker Sores

All You Need To Know About Canker Sores

“Canker sore” is the layman’s term for an aphthous ulcer. They typically appear as small, flat, white or off-white lesions on the soft tissues of the mouth such as the inner lips, the base of the gums, under the tongue and on the cheeks. They do not appear on any keratinized tissues, such as that of the top of the tongue. Canker sores differ from cold sores in that they do not appear on the lips, and they are not contagious. 

What Causes Canker Sores?

There is not always an easy answer to this question. Some people are more prone to canker sores than others, and some people rarely get them. A combination of factors may cause an outbreak. Possible causes may include: 

  • Emotional or physical stress 
  • Lack of sleep or fatigue 
  • Sensitivity to certain foods such as acidic fruits and vegetables (tomato, lemons)
  • Minor trauma from an injury or dental work 
  • Tongue or cheek biting 
  • Low vitamin b12 levels 
  • Use of toothpaste or mouthwash that contains sodium lauryl sulphate 
  • Certain oral bacteria 
  • Certain medical conditions such as celiac disease, inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn’s or ulcerative colitis, Behcet’s Disease and HIV/AIDS

Risk Factors For Canker Sores 

Canker sores most commonly affect young adults and youth and are more common in females than in males. In addition, there is also a family link for canker sores, whether this is from a genetic predisposition or from environmental factors such as a similar diet or allergens. 

How to Prevent Canker Sores 

Canker sores are sometimes inevitable, but there are ways to reduce the frequency and severity of them. 

  • Avoiding foods that are known irritants (such as spicy, acidic and tart foods)
  • Take a vitamin b12 supplement if you have a diet low in vitamin b12
  • Reduce your stress
  • Protect your mouth from irritants and injuries 
  • Find a toothpaste and mouthwash that works for you 
  • Maintain good oral hygiene 

Treatment of Canker Sores 

The most important factor is time. Canker sores will usually go away on their own in a week or less. If the canker sore is particularly large, it may take several weeks. Some ways to help speed up the healing or relief the symptoms are:

  • Off the shelf oral or topical medications for pain relief 
  • Dab magnesium hydroxide (milk of magnesium) on the sore several times a day 
  • Rinsing with salt water morning and evening 
  • Apply ice to the area by sucking on ice chips 

If you get frequent canker sores or have any questions about preventing canker sores, we encourage you to contact our office today to schedule an appointment.