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What are dental sealants and why does my child need them?

What are dental sealants and why does my child need them?

We all know that brushing and flossing are the best ways to prevent cavities, but sometimes we can’t reach every surface of our teeth with a toothbrush. Unlike other teeth in your mouth, your molar and premolar teeth have especially deep grooves and fissures. The food and bacteria that accumulate in these difficult spots can cause tooth decay and poor oral health. This is why dental sealants are crucial.

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What are dental sealants?

Plastic coating placed on the occlusal (chewing surface) of the back teeth is called dental sealant. Dental sealants protect your teeth by creating a smooth surface over the pitted, gritty areas of each tooth vulnerable to decay. This sheer, protective coating adheres to the chewing surface of your teeth to block food bits that would otherwise sink into the fissures of your molar and premolar teeth and to stop acid and bacteria from settling.

When should dental sealants be applied?

The earlier your child gets dental sealants, the better. Most children’s first molars appear around the age of 6, and the second molars around the age of 12. If your child receives dental sealants as soon as their molars erupt beyond the gums, their teeth will be protected through the cavity-prone years.

Luckily, dental sealants will benefit your child’s oral health for several years –sometimes lasting until adulthood before they need to be reapplied!

On that note, we offer dental sealants for our adult patients as well! However, it is less common for adults to have dental sealants applied.

How are dental sealants applied?

Your child’s pediatric dentist will follow a number of simple steps to apply dental sealants (not to worry, they are all completely painless!):

  1. First, your dentist will clean and dry the tooth to prepare it for the plastic coating.
  2. An acidic gel will be placed on each affected tooth to create a grainy surface. This gel makes the surface of the teeth rough, so the sealant will adhere to the surface effortlessly.
  3. After a few moments, your dentists will rinse off the gel and dry the tooth again. Your dentist will then apply the sealant onto the grooves of the tooth and use a special blue light to harden the sealant.

Although they are no substitute for daily oral hygiene, sealants can prevent early stages of decay from growing into full cavities.

Consider dental sealants for your child now to save time later!

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

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


Did You Know That Bad Oral Hygiene Could Affect Your Overall Health?

Did You Know That Bad Oral Hygiene Could Affect Your Overall Health?

Most people know that good oral hygiene is an important factor for a healthy mouth and great smile. But did you know that poor oral hygiene can harm your body? Pay special attention to tooth and gum care or you may endanger your overall health.

oral-hygiene

The mouth is the “gateway to the body. It is the portal through which you nourish and care for your body, so it is not surprising that lack of oral heath can affect your whole body.

Basic oral hygiene includes:

  • Brushing teeth at least twice a day
  • Flossing everyday
  • Avoiding sugary, cavity-causing food
  • Avoiding tobacco products
  • Visiting your dentist regularly

Failure to do any of the things above can lead to several heath consequences:

Plaque:

Every time we eat, we build a layer of bacteria over our teeth called dental plaque. When teeth are not cleaned, more bacteria forms on top of the plaque already present, which could result in cavities. When plaque builds under your gums, infections can occur that are dangerous to the health of your gums and the bones that support your teeth.

Cardio Vascular Disease:

People that neglect oral hygiene are proven to be more likely to develop heart disease. A build up of bacteria in the mouth can enter into your blood stream, narrowing your arteries. The clot-promoting protein in plaque can clog arteries and cause serious heart damage.

Respiratory Infections:

The Journal of Periodontology found that gum disease from lack of oral hygiene can cause infections in your lungs, including pneumonia! Breathing bacteria from infected teeth and gums over a long period of time will contaminate your lungs, leading to disease.

Great oral care is the first and easiest step to a healthy mouth and body.

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Contact our Markham, Stouffville, or Richmond Hill office to book a consultation now.


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.

 


Why you need to floss your child’s teeth

Why you need to floss your child’s teeth

floss your child’s teeth“It is important to floss your child’s teeth” – many times we have parents who are surprised when we tell them this bit of advice. What we need to remember is that some baby teeth do not fall out until the age of 12, so they are just as important as adult teeth!

Why do we need to floss?

The toothbrush can get to all the surfaces of the teeth, unless teeth are touching each other. Once the teeth are in contact, the brush bristles are not small enough to get to those ‘in between’ areas, and the only way to clean those surfaces is by flossing. This usually occurs anywhere between age 2-4 in back baby teeth, and even earlier in the front. So flossing is just as important as brushing.

How often do we need to floss?

The best way to floss is after each meal, however, with our busy lives, flossing at night during the evening brushing time is good enough. Using floss sticks is much easier for parents then using the string floss.

How do we floss?

The best way is to have a demonstration at the dental office. In general you want to see-saw the floss in below the contact and then pull the floss straight up.

What happens if we do not floss?

Gingivitis and inflammation of dental papilla (bleeding between the teeth) is the most common effect of not flossing. However, it is also common to get cavities between the teeth. These cavities can only be detected with xrays, unless they are already very large.

 


Is your child brushing their teeth twice a day?

Is your child brushing their teeth twice a day?

Proper brushingBased on the AAPD (American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry) only 55-60% of children brush two or more times a day. That means about a half of children out there don’t have proper brushing habits – brushing only once a day or not at all.

Also, only 20-26% brush for 2 minutes! Proper brushing occurs two times a day for two minutes.

2 FOR 2 IS WHAT WE DO!!!

We try to go to as many schools and as many classes as we can to teach children when and how to brush. Many can now recite our handy slogan “2 FOR 2 IS WHAT WE DO”.

Here are a few other common things we get asked about:

  • Tooth brushing with an age appropriate tooth brush should start with the eruption of the first tooth.
  • Usually it is also recommended to start using a rice grain size or a smear of fluoride toothpaste at this time as well. This is definitely something to discuss with your dentist at your child’s first visit.
  • We recommend brushing after breakfast and last thing at night.
  • For children that can cough or spit phlegm, a pea size amount of fluoridated toothpaste can be used.
  • Parents should always assist/brush their children’s teeth for them until about age 8 or when they can tie their shoelaces. The best way to know if they are ready to brush on their own is to watch them brush, watch their coordination and if they are actually getting to all the tooth surfaces.

It is important to be mindful of our children’s dental health from an early age and we hope these proper brushing practises have been helpful to you. A check up as early as the age of one is recommended – click here to schedule your child’s very first appointment with us!

 


Ouch! Will braces hurt me?

Ouch! Will braces hurt me?

teen bracesOne of the most common questions we get before a child gets braces is; “will it hurt?” Remember pain is different for everyone, but below we’ll go through what to expect at each stage of your orthodontic treatment.

Will it hurt to get my braces on?

It’s an exciting but often overwhelming time when you finally get to have your braces put on, and many patients fear that it’s going to be an extremely painful process.

Luckily, getting your braces on will only moderately be uncomfortable. It is like getting a new pair of shoes, or skates. It takes a bit for you to adjust but once you get use to them, they fit you perfectly! During the procedure, the most pain you’ll feel is a bit of discomfort from having your mouth open for the time frame it takes to get your braces on.

Aside from that, the majority of the discomfort you will feel will be within the first few hours of getting them on. Your teeth may feel a bit more sensitive than usual and it will probably take you longer to eat meals while you are adjusting and getting used to the feeling of having braces on your teeth.

Have no fear, as it’s completely normal to experience discomfort while eating and talking upon getting your braces on, and even if your mouth/teeth hurt in the beginning it is unlikely that you will experience sharp pain, but more of a dull pain that will eventually fade.

Do braces hurt when they’re tightened?

Visiting the orthodontist for monthly appointments is necessary when you have braces, and each month you visit your orthodontist will access the progress your teeth have made. Upon accessing your teeth, your wire, elastics or metal ties around the braces will be changed and/or adjusted.

After your monthly appointment it is normal to feel a bit of discomfort and pain as your teeth are moving and adjusting to your newly adjusted braces. This pain will usually reside within the first few days after your appointment.

Do braces hurt when I get them off?

You have finally reached the end of your orthodontic treatment and you are beyond excited to see that beautiful smile that you have been patiently waiting for, but is it going to hurt to get them removed?

Surprisingly enough, removal is very smooth and easy and you won’t feel much pain, if any at all. Your dentist will first remove your wire and then remove the brackets from each tooth, which usually pop off fairly easy. After all the brackets are removed, they will then make sure that all the glue has been removed from your teeth and polish them so you leave with pearly whites.

What can help the discomfort?

Now that you know what you may experience during your orthodontic treatment, there are some ways to help aid this discomfort.

1. Ibuprofen such as Advil or Motrin can help ease the pain and discomfort you may be experiencing.

2. Orthodontic wax can be provided by your orthodontist or purchased at a drugstore. This wax can cover up any parts of your braces that may be causing discomfort or soreness in your mouth.

3. Salt-water rinses can also help with discomfort if you are experiencing any irritation in your mouth.

Lastly, remember that any discomfort you feel is going to be 110% worth it when your braces are removed to reveal a crooked-less smile! 🙂


Toothbrush tips to keep you healthy

Toothbrush tips to keep you healthy

toothbrush tips During winter time it may be beautiful outside with snow on the ground and icicles hanging from rooftops but along with it, comes the dreaded cold and flu season. Make sure to eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables to keep your vitamins and nutrient intake up and to stay healthy! Since your mouth is a common way for germs and bacteria to enter your system, here are some toothbrush tips to keep them away!

  • Wash your hands before and after brushing your teeth
  • Let your toothbrush air dry after each use, this can help reduce harmful bacteria from lingering on your toothbrush
  • Store the toothbrush in an upright position to allow water to drain and dry faster
  • Keep your siblings healthy by storing your toothbrushes separately so that germs do not pass between brushes.
  • Replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months.

 

Dr. Heder and Dr. Zee, our pediatric dentists, and the Kids Dental team hope these toothbrush tips help you stay healthier and keep those pearly whites sparkling clean!


Oral Health: Don’t Forget About Your General Dentist!

Oral Health: Don’t Forget About Your General Dentist!

Although we are certain you are taking care of your general oral health during orthodontic treatment with regular brushing and flossing, you need to continue visiting your general dentist.

On top of your orthodontic appointments, we suggest visiting your general dentist at least every 6 months.

These regular appointments are important for maintaining good oral health.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure and with regular dental check-ups you can be sure you will have a fabulous smile when your orthodontic treatment is finished. During an oral exam your dentist can check the health of every part of your mouth, from your gums to your tongue.

Let’s work together on your oral health and keep you smiling for years! 🙂


Complimentary Consultations at Kids Dental

Complimentary Consultations at Kids Dental

At Kids Dental, we are committed to excellence and personal customer service. Drs. Lee and Antoniazzi, as well as our entire team, enjoy spending the time to communicate and educate our patient and parents to ensure they understand their treatments, so they can make informed decisions and feel comfortable with their orthodontic experience.

One of our commitments is meeting with you to help you explore all or the options available to you or your child. Drs. Lee and Antoniazzi offer complimentary consultations for those interested in orthodontic treatment. During this time, you’ll have time reserved with Drs. Lee and Antoniazzi, who will assess your particular needs as well as discuss treatment options available and answer any questions you may have. We place a high value on making sure you have complete information before beginning treatment.

If you have been thinking about obtaining the dazzling smile you’ve always wanted, we invite you to give us a call at our Stouffville office:905 642 3642.

See you soon!


Breaking Bad Habits and Maintaining Good Oral Health

Breaking Bad Habits and Maintaining Good Oral Health

At Kids Dental, we know maintaining good oral health requires only a few minutes a day. We thought we’d provide some practical advice on how to improve your or your child’s smile between your visits for adjustments with Drs. Lee, Antoniazzi or Frackowiak.

Start by brushing your teeth twice a day. Proper brushing techniques are an essential part of maintaining good oral health during your orthodontic treatment, as well as preventing gum disease. Brushing daily helps remove decay-causing plaque from tooth surfaces. Please consult Drs. Lee, Antoniazzi or Frackowiak if you would like us to review brushing techniques with you or your child. Flossing daily will also prevent plaque to build up between the teeth and prevent stains between your teeth. Research has shown the bacteria of gum disease has been linked to coronary artery disease, stroke, diabetes and memory loss. Lastly, we encourage you to throw away old toothbrushes and replace them every 2 or 3 months, or after an illness.

We hope this helps! If you have any further questions about any of these tips and maintaining good oral health overall, please give us a call or ask us on Facebook!

Have a wonderful Mother’s Day weekend!


Kids Dental | Richmond Hill | Markham | Stouffville