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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

What is a Night Guard and When is it Used?

What is a Night Guard and When is it Used?

A night guard is exactly that, a guard worn at night. It is a somewhat flexible tray that sits over your teeth. The goal of a night guard is to act as a cushion to protect the teeth and the jaw from wear occurring from nocturnal habits such as grinding and clenching. Teeth grinding is when the top and bottom teeth rub together. Teeth clenching is when the jaws press the teeth together, like a firm constant bite. Both habits are subconscious and are a form of a sleep motion disorder, and both are very common. 

How Does a Night Guard Help? 

When worn properly and frequently, a night guard helps to prevent wear on the tooth’s biting surfaces. The night guard absorbs the strong biting or clenching forces from the jaws and acts as a cushion to absorb these forces. Additionally, when wearing a night guard, the biting and clenching forces are evenly distributed throughout the jaw and teeth. There are several different models of night guards to choose from depending on your needs and what will work best for you. Some are thinner, some are thicker, some can be worn on the top teeth, some can be worn on the bottom teeth.

Important Tips 

  • Wear your night guard every night for the best protection
  • It is difficult to adjust when first wearing a night guard, so give it a few weeks until you get comfortable wearing one
  • Inspect the night guard periodically for damage. It may need replacement if there is excessive damage
  • Clean your night guard daily with a toothbrush and warm water. Avoid hot water because it may warp the plastic 
  • You night guard should fit snugly on your teeth. Let your dentist know if the fit feels loose. 

If you think that you are clenching or grinding your teeth and you think that you would benefit from a night guard, we encourage you to contact us 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. 

Why Custom-made Sportsguards Are Necessary

Why Custom-made Sportsguards Are Necessary

It is vital to wear a sports guard anytime you are participating in contact sports. This means if you are participating in a sport where your mouth could contact another person or object, such as hockey, football and basketball. Sports guards are thin, pliable pieces of plastic formed to your teeth to protect your teeth and jaw from injury related to sports. Injuries to the mouth are the most common facial injury in sports.

Types of Sports Guards

Boil and Bite – A boil and bite sports guard can be purchased at a store for less than a custom fitted sports guard. Once purchased, the material is heated up, and the wearer will bite into the material, leaving an impression of their teeth. The boil and bite sports guard offers protection for the teeth and jaw, but it lacks the protection offered by a custom-made sports guard. Boil and bite sports guards are recommended for children who are growing and losing teeth, as the investment for a custom mouth guard would only last a few months before it no longer fits. Between the ages of 13 to 16, when growth slows, and all adult teeth are in, it is recommended to switch from a boil and bite to a custom-made sports guard.

Custom Made – This type of sports guard is made in a dental office and fits precisely to the wearer’s mouth with a tight seal. An impression of the teeth is taken, and an exact model is made out of a piece of flexible plastic. A custom sports guard has a tight seal and offers the best protection against force and trauma.

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How to Care for your Sports Guard

Clean the sports guard after each use with a separate toothbrush and some warm water. Never use hot or boiling water on the guard as it may deform the shape. Never bite or chew on your sports guard. If the sports guard is no longer fitting as it did at the start, or if there are signs of chips and wear, it is time to replace the guard. An ill-fitting sports guard offers substantially less protection than a well-fitting sports guard.

If you believe you may benefit from a custom sports guard, or have any questions about them, we encourage you to contact us today to schedule an appointment.

How To Stay Healthy Between Dental Visits

How To Stay Healthy Between Dental Visits

We all love having that fresh mouth feeling after leaving the dental office. Why not keep that fresh mouth feel between your dental visits? Follow these tips to keep your smile healthy until your next dental visit.

Floss Regularly

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Regular flossing keeps your gums healthy and firm. Without adequate flossing, inflammation and gum disease occurs. Gums that are swollen, red, swollen and bleed easily when brushing and flossing are signs of gum disease. Many patients experience some bleeding during teeth cleaning if they do not floss enough or properly. Flossing and brushing at least once daily reduces the chances of gum disease. While it is recommended to floss after every meal, it is not always possible. However, flossing before sleeping is most beneficial if you can only floss once a day.

Use The Proper Brushing Technique

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Brushing is only effective when the right technique is used. The rolling stroke brushing technique is easy to follow. Ask your dental professional to show you how to use the rolling stroke technique.

The technique differs when using an electric toothbrush. Your goal is to guide the electric toothbrush along the gumline since the brush is performing the brushing action. Be sure to apply pressure that is not too light or heavy.

Brushing for at least two minutes is recommended. However, you may need to brush longer depending on the health of your mouth.

Avoid Tooth-Staining Foods

During your teeth cleaning, some external stains from teeth are being removed. Avoid foods that easily stain teeth to reduce the frequency of dental cleanings needed. Foods that stain include coffee, tea, red wine, etc. Rinsing your mouth after having these foods. Habits such as smoking require more frequent cleanings as well.

Use Special Cleaning Tools

A regular flossing and brushing oral care routine works for most patients. However, sometimes special cleaning aids must be used for better reach or access. Your dental professional will recommend cleaning aids suited for your oral health.

Keep these tips in mind when it comes to your oral care routine for a healthy mouth between dental visits. Contact us to schedule your dental visit if it has been a while.