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What Should You Do About Your Child’s Wiggly Tooth

What Should You Do About Your Child’s Wiggly Tooth

To pull or not to pull? That’s the question many parents ask themselves when a wiggly tooth is bothering their child.

When do baby teeth fall out?

Most kids start to lose their baby teeth around the age of 6 or 7, when the roots of the primaries naturally dissolve to make way for permanent teeth. The first to come in are the typically the first to fall out.

Within a few weeks, ridges will show in the gums and the new tooth will finish growing a few months later. Sometimes permanent teeth appear behind baby teeth. It is rarely a cause concern, but it is worth letting us know if the permanent teeth are more than partway in or if they are coming in crooked.

On average, children will lose 3-4 teeth per year. By age 12, all 20 baby teeth are usually gone.

wiggly-teeth

Other reasons for a loose tooth

Of course there are plenty of other reasons for a child having a loose tooth. In cases where the tooth has been struck through play or injury, let Kids Dental have a look to ensure there is no risk of infection or permanent damage. If a tooth is knocked out, have your child suck on a clean cloth then rinse their mouth out with water. The bleeding will usually subside within an hour.

Resist the urge to yank

Fortunately the days of tying a piece of connecting string around a wiggly tooth and a door handle are long gone! Forcefully extracting a tooth that is not quite ready to come out can be painful and bloody. Your child may also be at risk of an infection.

In most cases, the best bet is to be patient and simply allow nature to run its course. Kids can help things along by wriggling the tooth— just be sure their hands are clean.

When a tooth is ready to fall out, the process should be virtually painless and involve very little blood loss. The area may tingle, but rest assured your child can still eat and play as normal. If your child complains about the loose tooth hurting, you may wish to apply a topical numbing agent like Orajel to gums.

Swallowing a tooth is not dangerous, as it can easily pass through the body. But you may have some explaining to do to the Tooth Fairy!

If you are at all concerned about a wiggly tooth, give us a call or book an appointment at one of our three locations.


What can you do for a child’s toothache?

What can you do for a child’s toothache?

When your child complains about a toothache, you can safely and quickly provide relief until you can bring them to visit their Kids Dental Group pediatric dentist .

Toothaches can be caused by a variety of issues, the most common being tooth eruption. If your child is a toddler, their baby teeth may have begun to erupt through the gums, creating pressure and discomfort. In older children, a toothache can be a sign of a larger problem such as an infection, a loose tooth, injuries or decay.

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Thankfully, you can provide temporary toothache relief for your child using homemade solutions and very simple steps:

  1. Create a natural saline solution using table salt or sea salt. If your child is old enough to rinse and spit, have them rinse their mouths with the solution to reduce inflammation and bacteria.
  2. Use a cold compress or a cold, clean washcloth to relieve pain and swelling. Hold the compress or ask your child to hold the compress against their face closest to the painful area for 15 to 20 minutes.
  3. Give your child an anti-inflammatory medication appropriate for their age. Keep in mind that the chewable versions may be painful for your child to chew. Look for the liquid versions instead.
  4. Make an appointment with your Kids Dental Group pediatric dentist as soon as possible. The only way to pinpoint the issue behind your child’s toothache and find a permanent solution is to visit a trusted pediatric professional.

If your child has suffered from any of the injuries listed below, you should not wait to take them to their pediatric dentist. It’s best that you take them to a hospital as soon as possible.

True dental emergencies:

  • Broken tooth
  • Cracked tooth
  • Trauma to the face/mouth
  • Tooth extractions
  • Fractured jaw
  • A foreign object stuck between the teeth

Your Kids Dental Group pediatric dentists welcome your questions about toothaches and how to solve them. If your child is experiencing any type of oral pain, it’s usually best to schedule an appointment at one of our three locations: Richmond Hill, Markham, and Stouffville.


Should My Child Drink Water To Improve Oral Health?

Should My Child Drink Water To Improve Oral Health?

Parents know that drinking water regularly is essential to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Not only does water help to transport nutrients in our bodies and regulate body temperature, but our oral health would be at risk without it. Kids Dental Group pediatricians recommend making water your child’s go-to choice as well. While sugary, acidic drinks are harmful to oral and general health, water has limitless benefits.

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Water strengthens teeth:

In most neighbourhoods in North America, tap water contains a naturally-occurring mineral called Fluoride. Fluoride has been shown to prevent tooth decay and reduce the chances of cavities by over 50%. Some even say the fluoride is nature’s “cavity fighter”. Drinking water with fluoride is one of the easiest things your child can do to maintain oral health.

Although there is controversy about fluoridation, several international health organizations including World Health Organization and The Centre for Disease Control support fluoridated water.

Water cleans the mouth:

Throughout the day, food particles and natural bacteria coat the teeth. If this debris is not removed soon after eating, it can lead to tooth decay and cavities. Fortunately, drinking water regularly helps to wash damaging particles off teeth and displace bacteria. It’s an easy way to for your child to quickly clean their teeth between brushing.

Water creates saliva:

Saliva is the body’s way of defending the mouth from tooth decay. It helps to balance the Ph level of the mouth by washing away food, allows you to swallow with ease and provides the teeth with strengthening calcium. The proteins and minerals in Saliva even counteract enamel-damaging acids. Saliva is also made of 95% water, meaning your child must consume a significant amount water in order to produce it.

When your child is well hydrated, saliva can get to work!

In addition, water is extremely healthy. No juice or soda is as pure as water: it has no calories and no sugar!

Above are only a few of the ways drinking water can benefit your child’s oral health.

To learn more about health drink options for your child, contact us at our Markham, Richmond Hill or Stouffville location now

Markham (905 294 0995) | Richmond Hill (905 709 3888) | Stouffville (905 642 3642)


How do sports drinks affect your child’s oral health?

How do sports drinks affect your child’s oral health?

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What are sports drinks?

The term  “​sports drink​” can include anything from vitamin waters to highly caffeinated energy drinks​. It’s important to distinguish between caffeinated energy drinks and sports drinks, which generally don’t have caffeine.

Sports Drinks vs. Energy Drinks

The caffeine in most energy drinks can cause a variety of health concerns in children. This includes:

● Interference with sleep

● Anxiety and nervousness

● Raised heartbeats

● Headaches

● Difficulty concentrating

● Frequent urination

How do sports drinks work?

Sports drinks, on the other hand, use electrolytes to increase energy. Our bodies use electrolytes to maintain our nerve and muscle function, hydration, muscle repair and blood pressure. When children sweat during exercise, they lose these electrolytes. Additionally, the sodium and sugar in sports drinks replace salt lost in perspiration and keep energy levels up.

Sports drinks can be beneficial, but they should be consumed in moderation. A child needs to have done vigorous exercise (such as cross-country running, skating, soccer, basketball etc.) for an hour before it’s necessary to replenish with a sports drink. Otherwise, the high amounts of sugar can increase the risk of ​weight gain​ and tooth decay. For most children, water is the better option for good oral health and physical wellbeing.

How do sports drinks affect oral health?

The sugar in sports drinks creates unhealthy acids that coat the teeth and build a sticky, damaging deposit called plaque. The bacteria in plaque produces acids that can ruin the protective surface of the tooth, called enamel. Over time, as a result of this damage, tooth decay will occur.

Of all age groups, teens are most heavily affected by tooth decay resulting from sports drinks. After adult teeth have come in, damage to the enamel is irreversible. Without the protective layer of enamel, teeth are prone to increased sensitivity and cavities.

Protecting your child’s teeth from sports drinks

Besides cutting out sports drinks entirely, there are other measures that you can take to protect your child’s oral health:

1. Chew sugar-free gum: Sugar-free gum will help to increase saliva production exponentially. The healthy bacteria in saliva helps to protect the mouth and teeth from damaging sugar and acids.

2. Brush an hour after drinking:  Brushing your teeth after consuming sugary foods is one of the best ways to combat tooth decay. However, children should wait at ​least an hour after consuming sugary drinks before brushing their teeth. Brushing too soon can spread harmful acids into the grooves of the teeth where they are difficult to remove.

As parents, we know that you want you child to succeed in sports, but it is important not to encourage kids to believe they need a sports drink to perform at their best. Be careful not to make sports drinks your child’s go-to source of energy or as a reward for a good performance. Like soda, children can become addicted to the sugar in sports drinks.

The best place for your child to get the necessary nutrients to live an active lifestyle is from balanced meals. Kids that eat natural foods, drink water throughout the day and get enough physical activity, will naturally have energy.

If you are concerned about damage to your child’s teeth from sports drinks, your Kids Dental Group pediatric and orthodontic specialists can advise you on how to proceed.

Contact us at our Markham, Richmond Hill or Stouffville location now. We look forward to having you!

Markham (905 294 0995) | Richmond Hill (905 709 3888) | Stouffville (905 642 3642)


Should I brush my child’s teeth for them?

Should I brush my child’s teeth for them?

As your child develops adult teeth, it is especially important to maintain healthy brushing habits. But pushing your child to brush their own teeth before they’re ready is one of the biggest oral healthcare mistakes parents can make. Some children may not be mature enough yet to brush their teeth properly. Your Kids Dental Group pediatric dentists can advise you how to brush your child’s teeth properly until it is time for them to do it on their own.

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Signs that your child’s teeth are not being brushed properly:

  • White film, otherwise known as plaque, covering your child’s teeth
  • Red and swollen gums that could likely be a sign of gingivitis

How to Brush Your Child’s Teeth:

  1. Put a small, pea sized amount of toothpaste on a soft children’s brush.
  1. Stand behind your child and tilt their head slightly backwards, so you can see all the surfaces of your child’s teeth.
  1. Move the brush in gentle circles, angled towards the gums. Be sure to clean both the inner and outer sides of the teeth.
  1. Move the toothbrush back and forth on the chewing surface of the teeth.
  1. After cleaning all of the teeth, gently sweep the the toothbrush downwards on your child’s tongue, being sure not to reach too far back.
  1. Encourage your child to spit out the toothpaste and rise with water.

Signs that kids can brush their teeth on their own:

  1. They have reached the age between 6 to 9: This is typically the age range that children can comfortably transition from having their teeth brushed by their parents, to brushing on their own.
  1. They prove they are responsible: A child that can manage personal responsibilities such as cleaning their rooms or completing homework on on time, can likely take on the responsibility of brushing their teeth twice a day.
  1. They pass your tests: Check your child’s teeth after they are done brushing. Are their teeth and tongue sparkling clean? Gaining your approval is the most important test of all!

Are your concerned that your child’s teeth are not brushed properly? Are your child’s teeth unclean even with regular brushing?

Contact us at our Markham, Richmond Hill or Stouffville location now and we will find the solution you need.!

Markham (905 294 0995) | Richmond Hill (905 709 3888) | Stouffville (905 642 3642)


Why does my child get bad breath?

Why does my child get bad breath?

Bad breath, also known as Halitosis, is a condition that even the healthiest children experience. There are hundreds of types of bacteria in the mouth and many causes of bad breath.

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See below for some common causes of Halitosis in your children:

Poor Oral Hygiene

Poor oral hygiene is the most common cause of bad breath in children. When plaque and bacteria are not brushed away, it can irritate and infect the gums, leading to bad breath. We recommend scheduling an appointment with a Kids Dental Group pediatric specialists for regular teeth cleanings and an exam.

Tongue

The grooves of your child’s tongue can house bacteria that result in foul breath. It is important to remember to brush your child’s tongue as well as their teeth to prevent the accumulation of odour causing bacteria.

Sinus Infection

If your child continues to have bad breath after maintaining a consistent oral health routine, it may be an indicator of sinus infection. Schedule an check-up with your child’s pediatrician.

Dry Mouth

When your child’s mouth is producing less saliva than normal, this may contribute to bad breath. In a healthy mouth, saliva helps to clean the mouth and break-down bacteria in food. It is important to keep your child hydrated.

A Foreign Object

Very young children often place foreign items (toys, food pieces, nick-nacks) in their nose. If your child’s nostrils are running and they have bad breath, this could be an indicator of a foreign object stuck in their nose. In this case seek medical assistance immediately.

If you are still halitosis, schedule a consultation with one of our pediatric dentists today!

Contact us at our Markham, Richmond Hill or Stouffville location now!

Markham (905 294 0995) | Richmond Hill (905 709 3888) | Stouffville (905 642 3642)


Ease Your Child Off The Pacifier

Ease Your Child Off The Pacifier

techniques for easing your child away from the pacifier

A pacifier is a quick fix for a crying baby. However, parents should know when and how to break their child’s pacifier habits.

When Should You Take The Pacifier Away?

Some experts say parents should take the pacifier away when their child turns one, while others suggest that children can use it up to the age of four without negative consequences.

You should be aware that the longer a pacifier is a part of your child’s daily routine, the more difficult it will be to separate them from it. Take it away sooner rather than later to minimize difficulty.

Here are some techniques for easing your child away from the pacifier:

The Gradual Approach:

Remove the pacifier when your child is in a non-stressful situation, such as when they are playing at home. Once your child has adapted to being without the pacifier at home, you can encourage them not to use the pacifier outside of the house. From then on, only allow the pacifier in the crib or around bedtime. If your child is old enough you can explain to them that they no longer need the pacifier for bedtime, as they are too old to sleep with it.

Cold Turkey:

Be prepared to deal with nights of crying and tantrums if you suddenly take away your child’s soother. Remember to be persistent and not to give in. If you hand your child the pacifier after they’ve thrown a tantrum, they will learn that they can get what they want by putting up a fight.

Prepare your child by letting them know ahead of time that their pacifier will be taken away on a certain date or event. Using a line such as, “Your birthday will be your last day with your binky”, will prepare them and minimize kickback.

Make It Taste Bad:

Sprinkling a safe but bad tasting food (not hot sauce) on your child’s pacifier will deter them from reaching for it next time. After a while, you will find that they don’t want their soother anymore.

Story Time:

Assist your child in the process of removing their pacifier by reading to them about other children doing the same. There are a number of books on the market that are written for this purpose.

The most popular books include:

Bye-Bye Binky by Maria van Lieshout

Binky by Leslie Patricelli

Pacifiers are not Forever by Elizabeth Verdick and Marieka Heinlen

 

If these techniques do not work for your child, please contact our office to book a consultation with a Kids Dental Group pediatric specialist.


Cavities in Kids: Is my child at risk?

Cavities in Kids: Is my child at risk?

kids cavitiesCavities, or tooth decay, is one of the most common childhood diseases. It can happen when bacteria in mouths react with carbohydrates left on teeth and producing acid. These acids dissolve the tooth enamel over time and leads to cavities.

How do I know if my child has cavities?

Did you know that cavities grow a lot faster in children, and can form in just a few months, that’s why it is so important to take your children for regular dental checkups. When cavities are small, they do not cause any symptoms. But left untreated, it will hurt. Your child may complain of discomfort while chewing, and sensitivity to cold and hot foods. Some children may have a hard time verbalizing their discomfort, so instead of informing their parents of toothache, they may choose to eat softer foods, which irritates the teeth less.

 

Here are some main risk factors for cavities in children:

  • Falling asleep with a baby bottle

This is one of the most common reasons for tooth decay that we see here at Kids Dental Group. When a child falls asleep with their baby bottle, whatever they drank will remain on teeth for hours while your baby sleeps, providing food source for acid-producing bacteria. One of the most common complaints we hear from parents is that “my baby will only sleep if I give him/her their bottle”. We understand how hard it is, and at your child’s dental checkup, we can provide helpful tips to avoid the habit of night-time bottle feeding.

  • Breast-feeding on demand

Don’t get us wrong – we are huge fans of breast-feeding. Although breast milk alone does not cause tooth decay, breast milk in conjunction with other carbohydrate containing foods can cause cavities, especially when feeding is frequent.

  • Inadequate brushing and flossing

Your children may not be old enough to do their own brushing and flossing, and they may be missing the hard to reach locations. As a result, plaque remains on the teeth, which can lead to tooth decay.

  • Not getting enough fluoride.

Fluoride helps prevent cavities, and sometimes, it can even reverse the earliest stages of acid damage to teeth. In City of Toronto, Richmond Hill and Markham, fluoride is added to the public water supply. However, fluoride isn’t added to public drinking water in Stouffville. Bottled water and water from reverse osmosis water filters, also do not have adequate levels of fluoride. During your child’s dental cleaning at Kids Dental Group, we apply topical fluoride treatment, which strengthens their enamel to help fight against cavities.

  • Frequent snacking and juice intake

When a child is constantly snacking or drinking juice, the bacteria in their mouth is getting a steady supply of fuel to produce acid that wears away at their teeth. Imagine your child’s teeth bathed in acid all through the day, this surely will increase the chance of them developing cavities.

  • Anatomy and shape of the teeth

Some kids naturally have teeth that have lots of pits and grooves on them. Some grooves and pits are so deep, that they can collect food, making them very hard to clean. Fortunately, there is a solution for that. At our clinic, many patients have sealants, a protective layer over the grooves, placed on their teeth by our experienced staff. Sealants can decrease the rate of cavities on these teeth significantly.

 

Let’s help your child fight tooth decay together with a few simple steps:

As we mentioned before, your child may not be old enough to brush and floss on their own. Here are some helpful hints to get them started (link to dr. Heder’s blog for 2 for 2 is what we do and why floss)

  • Help your child cut down on snacks and juice

Everything in moderation! We are not saying no treats at all, but a treat is no longer a treat if a child gets it anytime they want.

  • Take your child to their pediatrics dentist every 6 months for cleaning and checkups

Because prevention is the best medicine and your pediatric dentist can help detect cavities before they start hurting your child, and give you helpful individualized tips on how to take care of your child’s teeth. We are happy to have you as part of our Kids Dental Group home.

 


Did you know? – April is National Facial Protection Month! Get Free Custom-fit Mouthguards this May

Did you know? – April is National Facial Protection Month! Get Free Custom-fit Mouthguards this May

The American Association of Orthodontics, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, Academy for Pediatric Dentistry and the Academy for Sports Dentistry teamed up this month to bring awareness and get athletes, parents and coaches alike involved and informed about the benefits of protective head and mouth equipment (mouthguards) in organized sports.

April is National Facial Protection Month, and Dr. Krista Lee and Dr. Anthony Antoniazzi of Kids Dental wants to remind parents, coaches and athletes to play it safe as they prepare to suit up for recreational and organized sports. A child’s mouth and face can be easily injured if the proper precautions are not used while playing sports.

There is a great potential for serious injuries in day to day activities, from bike riding to the park to a neighborhood game of hockey or basketball. Children today, who do not wear mouthguards or protective head gear, are usually a result of uninformed parents; most adults don’t understand the importance of this protective equipment. Typically adults think sports like football and hockey are the only sports in which their children should be wearing mouthguards, when in fact that is not the case.

Mouthguards and protective head gear should be worn in any ‘contact sport’; contact sports however, are not limited to those in which one player knocks into another. Contact sports encompass any sport in which the players/individual is likely to have his or her face come into contact with any hard object, including pavement for example. Children involved in soccer, BMX riding, karate or any extreme sport should be wearing protective head and mouth gear.

Last year the National Youth Sports Safety Foundation estimated that more than 3 million teeth would be knocked out in youth sporting events. These type of accidents can be prevented with the use of a mouthguard.

Let us create and protect your smile!

Contact our office to get fit for your FREE custom fit mouthguard this May!


Frequently Asked Questions About Orthodontics

Frequently Asked Questions About Orthodontics

We understand that orthodontic treatment can be scary for those who aren’t informed; there can be many questions and concerns building in your mind when considering treatment. Let us ease your curious mind by answering common questions regarding orthodontics:

What is orthodontics?

Orthodontics is the branch of dentistry that specializes in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of dental and facial irregularities. The technical term for these problems is malocclusion, which means bad bite.

http://www.medterms.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=8401

What is an orthodontist?

An orthodontist is a dental specialist that has not only completed college and 4 years of dental school, but has also completed an additional 2 to 3 years residency program accredited by the ADA of advanced education in orthodontics. After receiving the additional years of training and education, an orthodontist has learned the skills that are required to treat the misalignment of teeth and facial development with braces, headgear, retainers and other methods.

http://dentistry.about.com/od/dentalfactsfaqs/f/orthodontist.htm

How can I benefit from orthodontics?

There are many benefits to orthodontics, for people of all ages. They include:

– Improved function of the teeth

– Improved ability to practice good oral hygiene

– Better long-term health of teeth and gums

– A more attractive smile

– Healthier jaw joints (TMJ health)

– A chance for increased self-confidence

– Improved wear patterns and force distribution of the teeth

How can I tell if I need braces?

There are some indicators that you might need braces. These include:

– Teeth that are overlapped or crowded

– Upper front teeth protrude over lower teeth: causing an overbite

– Lower front teeth protrude over or in front of the upper front teeth: causing an underbite

– The centre of the upper and lower teeth do not line up

– Spaces between the teeth

– Teeth wearing excessively or unevenly

– Finger or thumb sucking habits which continue after six or seven years old

How does orthodontic treatment work?

Braces help to move teeth into their proper positions over time by applying gentle, steady pressure. The brackets are the main component of the braces; they are fixed to the teeth and connect with an archwire. The archwire, once connected to the brackets will try and return to its original shape. In doing this it applies the pressure required to move teeth to the correct position.

How long does orthodontic treatment take?

The length of treatment varies from patient to patient, depending on the type and severity of the problems. More commonly, treatment typically takes 2 years to complete. Patient compliance is also a factor when considering the duration of the treatment.

Do braces hurt?

The actual procedure of placing appliances on teeth is not a painful process. However, once the braces and archwires are secured on the teeth some patients experience tenderness in the mouth for a few days. It may take a couple weeks for your mouth to adjust to the appliances.

Can you play sports if you have braces?

Yes, however it is important that patients wear a mouthguard when participating in sporting activities. It acts as a shock absorber to protect your teeth and the appliances.

In our office, all patients will receive 1 FREE custom fit mouthguard when they start their treatment.


Kids Dental | Richmond Hill | Markham | Stouffville