1090 St. Clair Avenue W, Toronto 416-652-7590
How Can You Prevent Baby Bottle Tooth Decay?

How Can You Prevent Baby Bottle Tooth Decay?

​The alternative name for baby bottle tooth decay is “early childhood caries,” which means cavities that form on baby teeth at a young age.

We know that healthy baby teeth lead to healthy adult teeth. They are space holders for the adult teeth and provide a healthy environment for the future adult teeth. Tooth decay in baby teeth can lead to pain, infections, missing teeth, difficulty chewing and speech and unnecessary stress.

What is Baby Bottle Tooth Decay? 

This condition occurs when your child’s baby teeth are exposed to sugars, usually in the form of milk from a bottle or sweet drinks, and start to decay. The decay will typically present on the upper front teeth but can extend to any tooth in the mouth. This condition is most common when a bottle is used as a pacifier or when a baby is left with a bottle of milk overnight.

This is because their teeth will be bathed in sugary liquid for an extended time, increasing the risk for decay. Pediatricians recommend that the only liquid given at night in a bottle is water. Inadequate intake of fluoride can also lead to baby bottle tooth decay. Fluoride helps protect the baby teeth from decay and should be ingested by drinking tap water and using a small amount of toothpaste containing fluoride by the age of 3.

Tooth decay is caused by bacteria and, therefore, can also be passed from mother/father to baby by passing bacteria contacting saliva. This means that sharing a spoon or utensil should be avoided.

Signs & Symptoms of Baby Bottle Tooth Decay 

Tooth decay may occur in its early stages without presenting any signs or symptoms. Small cavities between teeth may not show at all. They may show minor white or brown-stained patches between teeth as they progress and get larger. More advanced decay will look like chips or fractures between teeth and may be yellow, brown or black.

Your baby may also be experiencing pain or discomfort due to the decay. They may show this by being fussy, crying, or presenting with swelling and a fever. Taking your toddler to the dentist at an early age is vital at the onset of the first teeth. Your dentist can check areas of your toddlers’ teeth that you can’t access. If baby bottle tooth decay is left untreated, it can lead to pain, infection, loss of teeth, problems with the adult teeth and very costly dental treatment.

Preventing Baby Bottle Tooth Decay 

Reducing the amount of sugar your baby consumes plays a vital role in reducing their risk. Try not to give your baby anything else to drink but water or milk. Make sure you do not leave them to sleep at night with a milk bottle, and do not use a bottle of milk as a pacifier.

Be sure to avoid sharing your own saliva with your baby. After feeding, clean your baby’s teeth and gums with a gauze and a small toothbrush. When your baby sleeps, their mouth must be clear from any sugars. Also, be on the lookout for signs and symptoms of baby bottle tooth decay.

Treatment of Baby Bottle Tooth Decay 

If the decay is still tiny and in the early stages, your dentist can use fluoride treatment to remineralize the areas and prevent the decay from growing. Stronger fluoride such as silver diamine fluoride may be applied to areas of decay. Filling and dental crowns are possible solutions if the decay is more extensive and cannot be treated with fluoride. The decay will be removed and filled, and a crown will protect the tooth until it is ready to fall out.

The last resort is to have a severely decayed tooth extracted when there is no other option. In this case, a space maintainer may be used to hold the proper space for the future adult tooth. Treatment of decay on baby teeth, as mentioned earlier, is vital to the health of the future adult teeth and your child’s overall wellbeing.

Please contact us if you have any questions about baby bottle tooth decay. 

How to Pick the Right Toothbrush for You

How to Pick the Right Toothbrush for You

There are many factors involved in choosing the right toothbrush for your needs, and the toothbrush aisle can sometimes be overwhelming with all the options. Let us break down all the functions of a toothbrush to help you choose the one that will work best for you. 

Electric 

If used correctly, electric toothbrushes generally do a superior job over manual toothbrushes. Electric toothbrushes do the work for you by either an oscillating or using a sweeping motion back and forth. Electric toothbrushes come in either circular or oval heads and can be adult or kids-sized. 

  • If you have gum recession, try an electric toothbrush with a pressure indicator to let you know when you’re brushing too hard. 
  • For children, you can buy an electric toothbrush with a timer to let them know when they’ve reached two minutes
  • For adults and children, you can buy an electric toothbrush with a beep indicator that indicates when to move on to the next quadrant. 

Manual 

Manual toothbrushes can work well if used correctly with a proper brushing technique. There are several brushing techniques, and the technique should be selected based on needs. Manual toothbrushes come in super-soft, soft, medium and hard. A super-soft toothbrush should be chosen when there is a history of aggressive tooth brushing and recession. Medium and hard toothbrushes should never be used, as they are too abrasive for the gum tissue. 

  • To clean your tongue, select a toothbrush with a tongue cleaner on the backside 
  • If you have recession, select a super soft or soft toothbrush with just bristles and no rubber 
  • If you have problems with hand dexterity, select a toothbrush with a more oversized handle 
  • Toothbrushes made from bamboo are better for the environment 
  • Make sure to change your toothbrush every three months, or when the bristles begin to wear and the colour changes 
  • If your bristles are splaying, it is an indication you are brushing too aggressively 

If you have any questions about toothbrushes and which toothbrushes will work best for you, we encourage you to contact us today to schedule an appointment

Can Sparkling Water Harm Your Teeth?

Can Sparkling Water Harm Your Teeth?

​Let’s face it, drinking water can get boring from time to time, and we all have a more exciting beverage on hand when a craving strikes. That may be soda, juice, coffee, tea, wine, or sparkling water for some people. But, can these beverages cause damage to our teeth? Rest assured, out of the list you just read, sparkling water is the least likely to cause short or long-term issues with your teeth. Any beverage that contains sugars or acids can cause damage to tooth structure in the form of cavities and erosion. In particular, from that list, soda, wine, and juice are prominent culprits for cavities, tooth wear, and even stains. On the other hand, tea (when not mixed with sugar or milk) and sparkling water are less harsh on your teeth and will not cause cavities or tooth erosion.

A study using cadaver teeth was conducted to test the effects of sparkling water on the health of tooth structure over time. For comparison’s sake, when teeth are placed in soda, they begin to show signs of decay and rot away within days. Remember, soda contains both sugars AND acids. Alternatively, when teeth are placed in sparkling water, they don’t show any signs of change over many days, similar to teeth placed in natural spring water. It was thought that because sparkling water is slightly higher in acidity than spring water, erosion of tooth surfaces may occur, but this is not the case. Sparkling water is slightly more acidic but not enough to show changes to tooth surfaces.

So, when grabbing a beverage that is not spring water, carbonated water is one of the following best alternatives. Remember, any additives in the water may make the drink worse for your teeth, such as added flavours or sugars. Even citrus can make a beverage more acidic and erosive. Remember to also drink a healthy amount of natural spring water with added fluoride to help keep your teeth healthy and cavity-free.

If you have any questions about sparkling water, we encourage you to contact us today to schedule an appointment.

What Causes Bad Breath And How to Fix It

What Causes Bad Breath And How to Fix It

Bad breath, also known as “halitosis” or “malodour,” is a common problem that most have experienced at least once in their lifetime. There are many causes of bad breath and many ways that bad breath can be improved. Bad breath can be caused orally or gastrointestinally, but studies show that 80% of the source of bad breath comes from the mouth. Please read below to understand the causes of bad breath and how to improve it. 

Cause of Bad Breath 

– Plaque accumulation on tooth and gum surfaces may lead to gingivitis or inflammation of the gums and periodontitis, which is inflammation of the supporting structures of the teeth, also known as gum disease. 

– Plaque accumulation on the tongue surface 

– Dental decay and broken fillings 

– Food traps between teeth 

– Dentures that are not being properly cared for

– Ketogenic diet (high in proteins and fats and low in carbs)

– Smoking and tobacco products 

– Foods that alter your breath (garlic, onions, coffee, etc.)

– High sugar intake

– Dry mouth, caused “xerostomia” 

– Acid reflux 

– Certain medications such as antihistamines and diuretics 

– Certain medical conditions such as diabetes, liver disease, respiratory tract infections and bronchitis 

How to Improve Bad Breath 

– Brush at least twice a day and floss at least once a day 

– Keep your tongue clean. Use a tongue cleaner daily 

– Use a mouthwash approved by the CDA/ADA with medial ingredients 

– Have cavities/broken fillings fixed

– Keep dentures clean and take them out each night 

– Reduce sugar intake, increase intake of fruits and vegetables 

– Reducing smoking and use of tobacco products 

– Get checked for acid reflux and other medical conditions that are linked with bad breath 

– Use a salivary substitute if you suffer from a dry mouth 

– Make sure not to miss your routine check-ups and cleanings with your dentist and dental hygienist 

If you suffer from bad breath and are interested in treatment options or have any questions about how to improve your breath, we encourage you to contact us today to schedule an appointment.

Learn How To Keep Your Teeth Clean While Wearing Braces

Learn How To Keep Your Teeth Clean While Wearing Braces

It is essential to make sure you keep your teeth, gums and mouth healthy with dental braces because you can be more susceptible to cavities, bacteria build up and gum inflammation during this time. Dental braces can be tricky to clean because there are more nooks and crannies where plaque can get trapped. Surfaces that require adequate and consistent cleaning are the biting surfaces of teeth, along the gum lines, in-between the teeth and around the brackets. Listed below is a range of tools that you should be using to help keep your mouth healthy during braces. 

Electric Toothbrush 

It is vital to use an electric toothbrush during orthodontic treatment to keep your teeth and braces clean and plaque-free. Electric toothbrushes can do a better job of cleaning than manual toothbrushes due to their electronic brush strokes. Electric toothbrushes come in an either circular or oval shape and use either an oscillating or a sweeping motion. Electric toothbrushes can help access areas that are difficult to get to with a manual toothbrush. Make sure to use your electric toothbrush at least twice a day. 

Water Flosser 

A water flosser is a tool that utilizes a jet of water to help flush out plaque from around the teeth, gums and brackets. A water flosser is the best way to access difficult areas that a toothbrush can’t fit, such as between the teeth. Make sure to use your water flosser at least once a day. 

Floss & Floss Threaders/ Superfloss 

Flossing can be tricky with dental braces, but floss threaders and super floss help speed up the process. Both of these tools have a rigid end that helps to poke the floss underneath the wire. Floss threaders use regular floss to loop through, and super floss is a pre-cut piece of floss. Make sure to use your floss at least once a day.

clean dental braces brush dentist

Proxabrush 

This is a small pipe cleaner-looking brush that helps clean between brackets and underneath the archwire, which can be challenging to access. The small bristle protrusions trap and pull out plaque. Try to use your proxabrush at least once a day. 

Dental cleanings are recommended more frequently during orthodontic treatment to help keep your teeth and gums clean, around every 3-4 months. If you have any questions about tools to use during orthodontic treatment, we encourage you to contact us to schedule an appointment today.