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Gum Disease in Children

Like adults, children are also at risk for developing gum disease. Factors like hormonal changes, medications, genetics, medical diseases and poor dental habits can increase the chance of gum disease for children.

As parents, it’s important to prevent these dental complications. Here at Kids Dental Group, we provide valuable information to help you deal with gum disease in children.

Early detection and prevention are better than any type of oral and gum treatment. A comprehensive periodontal examination should be part of a regular dental visit to prevent gum or periodontal disease. If gum disease is undetected, it could lead to tooth loss and jaw problems at a very young age.

One of the best ways to prevent gum disease is to establish a proper oral hygiene routine. As early as 12 months you can use toothpaste to clean your child’s oral cavity. As they grow, teach them how to brush, floss their teeth and clean their tongue. In teaching children, you must first show them the right routine and allow them to do it on their own. Take your children to a dentist for a regular checkup and be aware of the signs and symptoms of gum disease so you can detect them early on.

Signs and symptoms of gum disease include red, swollen gums, bleeding gums, bad breath, gum recession and loose teeth. If you have any questions about gum disease in children, don’t hesitate to call us at Kids Dental Group. Our offices are located in Stouffville, Richmond, and Markham.

– The Kids Dental Group Team


Do Children Need Nerve Treatment (Root Canals)?

There are specific situations when a baby tooth may require a nerve treatment, similar to a root canal. Nerve treatments are effective and safe treatment to ease pain and prevent the spread of decay in a tooth. Nevertheless, if a nerve treatment is suggested for your child, you may ask why: Baby teeth will fall out in a couple of years so why do children need nerve treatment similar to a root canal?

Primary or baby teeth start to exfoliate between the ages of 6 and 12 years old. For this reason, parents often wonder why a dentist sometimes recommend nerve treatment for their children’s teeth. Sparing your children’s baby teeth until it reaches the exact period where it should shed is important. Instead of losing their baby teeth due to infection or trauma, a nerve treatment is performed to preserve a baby tooth until they normally get loose, shed and get replaced by an adult tooth. This baby tooth is then available for function making it easier for your child to eat and it will hold the space for the developing adult tooth.

Baby teeth are as vital as permanent teeth, so when your children’s teeth are painful, inflamed, sensitive or cracked with the pulp exposed, it’s important to see a dentist as soon as possible.

Nerve treatment for children is done through the method called pulpotomy. Pulpotomy is a procedure where the infected or damaged nerve of the tooth is removed. Your child’s dentist usually eliminates the surface nerve structure in the chamber of the pulp. When the damaged pulp is removed, a baby crown may be placed on the tooth to make it stronger and protect it. This crown will naturally shed along with the baby tooth when the permanent teeth start to grow.

Children’s dental conditions sometimes warrant a pulpotomy or pulpectomy nerve treatment. It is safe and recommended by many pediatric dentists. If you have any questions regarding nerve treatments for your child’s teeth or your child’s dental health, you can contact our pediatric dentists in Stouffville, Richmond Hill, and Markham.

– The Kids Dental Group Team


Your Child’s Diet & Their Oral Health

Children need the right amount of food from all major food groups to stay healthy and grow properly. The same thing goes with their oral health; children need a well-balanced diet to maintain strong and healthy teeth too.
Most often children love to eat carbohydrates, starches and sugar, which can all lead to tooth decay. Therefore, as a parent, it is important to teach your children about healthy food selections to prevent tooth decay and dental cavities.

Here are some diet tips to maintain your children’s oral health:

Serve water instead of fruit juices: Water is good for oral health. It helps wash away food debris and cleanses the mouth, while fruit juices contain sugar that is not good for your child’s teeth and gums.

Limit snacking between meals: Sugar and starches found in many snacks like cookies, pretzels, chips, chocolate, cakes and dried fruits could create plaque acids, which can cause tooth decay and cavities. Therefore, it is best to limit snacking between meals.

Plenty of vitamins and mineral Intake: Your child needs plenty of phosphorus, fluoride, calcium, zinc, vitamin A, C and D and folic acid to have healthy teeth and gums.

Focus on having sugar-free food for snacks: Sugar reacts with bacteria in your mouth and causes increased acid production, which wears away tooth enamel that leads to tooth decay. Limit food with added sugar and focus on giving your children unsweetened food and snacks.

Having proper nutrition among children is as important as following proper oral hygiene routine to maintain oral health. To learn more about nutrition and oral health for children, contact our office at Kids Dental in Stouffville, Richmond, and Markham.

-The Kids Dental Group Team


The Right Time For A Child To See An Orthodontist

Parents often ask the question – ‘when should children see an orthodontist?’. In fact, according to Canadian and American Association of Orthodontists, children as young as seven years old are recommended to see an orthodontist for a checkup. In some cases, earlier than seven years old is acceptable, if their condition warrants an orthodontic checkup.

Sometimes, a child’s teeth may appear to be straight but there could be underlying problems that are not easily detectable. Only a professional can properly assess and examine to see if orthodontic treatment is needed. These underlying problems can affect the way permanent teeth erupt. Thumb sucking problems, tooth crowding, a misaligned bite, and jaw problems are some of the cases that if not checked could result in future permanent teeth problems. An orthodontist can carefully pinpoint the dental problems related to malocclusion or misalignment. They are experts in their field of study, and they help prevent potential problems for future adult teeth.

Around the age of seven years old, most of the permanent teeth have erupted, or most children have a combination of temporary and permanent teeth. During this period, an orthodontist can detect problems related to the jaw and permanent teeth growth.

It is easier to correct orthodontic issues when spotted early because the facial and jawbones are still growing. Unlike with adults, a child’s jaw position and width can be guided by orthodontists more easily. Adults have hardened jawbones, and this means orthodontic treatment can be more complex than for a child who is still developing.

If you think your child may need to see an orthodontist, contact us at Kids Dental Group. Our offices are located in Stouffville, Richmond Hill, and Markham. We would love to check in on your child’s smile to keep them healthy!

-The Kids Dental Group Team


Dental Care for Children with Cleft Lip/Palate

Optimum oral care is essential for all children, but it is particularly important for kids with a cleft lip or palate because they are at a higher risk of having tooth and gum problems. Young children with cleft lip or palate have narrow arches, so cleaning their mouth and teeth can be a more difficult task. Parents should take extra time and care to ensure proper care is given for their child’s mouth.

Here are some dental care tips for parents to help make the job easier:

Proper Dental Hygiene Routine

Children with or without this condition should follow a proper oral routine. Clean teeth with a small soft bristle toothbrush as soon as teeth grow. Brush twice daily or after every meal if possible. Don’t forget to use fluoride toothpaste when brushing!

Dental Checkup

Schedule your child a visit to the dentist as early as one year of age. You can proactively schedule an appointment earlier if your child needs special dental care. Early dental evaluation is necessary to determine the course of treatment for children with a cleft lip/palate. Treatment management depends on the severity of their condition. Some need preventative care; others may require surgery or additional procedures.

Orthodontic Evaluation and Management

Early orthodontic evaluation is also necessary for children with cleft lip or palate. Orthodontists need to assess the facial, bone and jaw growth of your child. When teeth start to grow, your child’s orthodontist will plan a course of action for your child’s dental needs. Short-term and long-term treatment will be expected, as well as monitoring of your child’s jaw growth and oral development.

Collaborative Management with a Dental Surgeon

When your child needs a restorative operation or any dental extraction, the general dentist and orthodontist will have to collaborate with an oral surgeon to determine the best course of action.

Several procedures are needed in managing children with cleft lip or palate. To learn more about pediatric dentistry, contact us at Kids Dental Group. We have three dental offices – you can find us in Stouffville, Richmond Hill, and Markham. Contact us to take care of your child’s dental health today!

-The Kids Dental Group Team


Why Brush Your Child’s Tongue?

Brushing twice a day and flossing at least once is not enough to remove the harmful bacteria from your child’s mouth. Cleaning their tongue is an essential part of every child’s routine dental care.

The tongue acts like a sponge, which can hold the majority of bacteria found in the mouth. Bacteria can adhere on the rough surface of the tongue. Although the tongue doesn’t decay like teeth can, it can allow bacteria to proliferate causing dental cavities and tooth decay. With proper technique, tongue brushing can remove bacteria, prevent dental cavities and gum disease, as well as relieve bad breath.

When cleaning the tongue, children can use their toothbrush to brush it gently. A thin mucus layer keeps food residues and bacteria trapped in the nooks and crannies of the tongue. Therefore, we advise using a little bit of toothpaste when brushing your child’s tongue. Start brushing at the back of the tongue, working forward. Include the top of the tongue when brushing and then after cleaning the tongue, rinse with water to flush away residues.

Children can also use a tongue scraper. A tongue scraper is good for cleaning the tongue thoroughly. It is made of soft, flexible plastic that can gently scrape away the mucus-based layer of food residue and bacteria from your child’s tongue.

Brushing the tongue should be done at least twice a day, in the morning and at night before going to sleep. Make sure your children adhere to this routine so they can form a healthy dental habit that they will remember into adulthood.

If you have questions regarding tongue cleaning for children, contact us at Kids Dental Group in Markham, Richmond Hill or Stouffville. Our pediatric dental team will help your child keep a healthy and beautiful smile!

– The Kids Dental Group Team


Why Choose a Pediatric Dentist?

 

We know the health and well-being of your child is of the utmost importance to you! That’s why when it comes to their first dental appointment, you may wonder if you should bring them to a pediatric dentist or a regular practitioner? At Kids Dental Group, we’re here to help explain the difference! 
 
A pediatric dentist is a specialist in treating the unique needs of a child’s dental care. As a specialist, it is required to complete two to three years of additional training after dental school. This additional training includes education in child psychology and behaviours, pharmacology and up to date training on technology, including patient care. 
 
Our pediatric team also takes the time to explain preventative dental care for your child, hygiene tips and potential treatment options in an easy to understand way! No confusing terminology, just easy communication! 
 
In addition to our team’s experience, we’re prepared for your little ones too! From specialized equipment to interactive toys and prizes – your little ones will feel they are receiving the star treatment! 
 
Another benefit of visiting a pediatric dentist is the focus on preventative care. This article identifies that “pediatric dentists focus on prevention” – and they couldn’t be more right! At Kids Dental Group, we look at your child’s long-term oral health right from their first appointment. We start by helping children to develop healthy oral habits and look to prevent any potential dental problems. Our positive approach to early treatment helps us identify problems before they happen! This helps parents to be proactive about their child’s dental health! Remember, it’s better to be proactive than have to wait for a problem and spend the money and time to fix it! pediatric
 
It can be overwhelming to make decisions about your child’s health care. At Kids Dental Group, we make it simple! Keeping the priority on your child’s health in a safe, experienced and comfortable environment! You can learn about what your child’s first dental visit will be like here. Be sure to book your child’s dental appointment with us in Richmond Hill, Stouffville or Markham today! 
 
– The Kids Dental Group Team 

Should I Worry About my Child’s Bleeding Gums?

Adults are not the only ones who experience bleeding gums. Children may also be affected. And there are several possible reasons for bleeding gums in children and adults alike:

Childs-Bleeding-Gums

  1. Gingivitis

The most serious cause of bleeding gums is gingivitis, the initial stage of gum disease. And it can affect kids, too—particularly older children. Hormones triggered by puberty can make gum tissue prone to swelling and sensitivity. Keeping up good hygiene habits is critical at this stage. Signs that your child has gum disease include redness, swelling, tenderness, a receding gum line and bad breath.

If your child experiences any of these symptoms, be sure to check in with their dentist so gum disease can be detected—and treated—early on, as the effects of gingivitis can prove hard to reverse.

  1. Flossing

A regular flossing routine is the best way to maintain healthy gums and avoid the buildup of plaque. If your child skips flossing for a few days, they may experience bleeding until resuming the routine again. Until your child is around 10 years old, you may wish to assist with flossing to ensure it is done correctly. Any mild bleeding of the gums from flossing should subside after a few days, once the gums become less sensitive. If bleeding persists beyond a week, or if gums become red or irritated, contact your child’s dentist to check for signs of gingivitis.

  1. Toothbrush Type

When your child uses a new toothbrush for the first time, the bristles may be quite firm and abrasive to gums. We recommend always buying brushes with soft bristles, which are gentler on gums and no less effective at cleaning.

  1. Medications

A side effect of some medications is inflamed and bleeding gums. If your child has just started taking a new medication, monitor the appearance of gums. Ensure your child uses a soft toothbrush and sticks to their brushing and flossing routine. If bleeding persists for more than a week, consult your child’s doctor.

  1. Brushing Technique

When kids are first learning to brush their teeth, they often use more force and pressure than necessary. Over time, vigorous brushing can irritate gum tissue and cause bleeding. Model for your child a gentle brushing motion that reaches every tooth, and if necessary, assist your child with brushing until they can do it themselves.

If your child experiences frequent or persistent bleeding gums (lasting beyond a week), get in touch with Kids Dental Group. Call or visit us at one of our convenient locations in Markham (905 294 0995), Richmond Hill (905 709 3888) or Stouffville (905 642 3642).


What is Dental Sedation and is it Safe for Kids?

Sometimes children require dental sedation while undergoing certain long or complex procedures, depending on their age or special needs.

oral-sedation-dentistry

There are three kinds of sedation available, and your pediatric dentists will decide which type is best on a case-by-case basis:

1. Oral sedation

Oral sedation is given by mouth or through the nose and can take around 20 minutes to work. While this form of sedation doesn’t put the child to sleep, it helps them relax.

2. Nitrous oxide

Nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, helps kids stay calm while remaining conscious. A mix of nitrous oxide and oxygen is administered through a breathing mask and allows the child to relax within five minutes. At the end of the procedure, the dentist may pump pure oxygen through the mask in order to clear out any remaining nitrous oxide. There are no lasting effects from the gas.

3. General anesthesia

General anesthetic is given through a needle on the back of your child’s hand. Often anesthesiologists will use nitrous oxide to relax the child to sleep before the needle is given, then a tube is inserted into their throat to aid breathing.

Preparing your Child for Sedation

It’s important to follow any guidelines provided by your dentist. Provide a full medical history ahead of time and be sure to note any breathing issues or allergies, as well as any drugs or supplements your child is currently taking. Notify the dentist if your child has a fever, ear infection or cold.

Avoid giving your child any food for at least six hours, and only water up to two hours before sedation to prevent the risk of vomiting. Dressing your child in loose-fitting clothing will enable dental staff to attach and access any monitors to track blood oxygen level, blood pressure, temperature and heart rate during the procedure. Make sure your child uses the bathroom before the procedure for obvious reasons!

During sedation

It’s a good idea to stay with your child and provide comfort by holding their hand, by talking or singing quietly, or bringing along their favourite stuffed animal. If possible, find alternative care for siblings so that you can focus your full attention on the child having the procedure.

After Sedation

When your child wakes after sedation, they may feel nauseous, confused and fussy. As the effects of sedation gradually wear off, your child will likely be clumsy, dizzy and sleepy so they should spend the day recovering at home rather than at school or daycare.

Encourage your child to drink sips of water to avoid dehydration. For the first few hours following the procedure, feed your child soft foods and monitor your child closely. If they experience vomiting, fever, severe pain or bleeding, you should contact your dentist immediately.

Sedation remains a safe and common practice. If you have any questions or concerns about sedation, Kids Dental Group would be happy to help. Contact Us or visit one of our convenient locations in Markham (905 294 0995), Richmond Hill (905 709 3888) or Stouffville (905 642 3642).


Are Baby Teeth Important?

Many people assume that primary or baby teeth don’t matter since they fall out when your child is around five or six years old. But that’s a myth. In fact, baby teeth are just as important as permanent teeth and play a crucial role in your child’s oral health.

importance_baby_teeth

Not only do they hold space for the permanent teeth that will eventually replace them, primary teeth help your child chew solid food and affect your child’s speech development. Losing a primary tooth too early can cause permanent damage to adult teeth.

Oral care should therefore start early—even before the first tooth appears at around six months of age. Here are some simple steps you can take to keep your child’s developing teeth healthy

Discolouration

Since tetracycline is known to cause tooth discoloration, nursing mothers are advised to avoid taking this common antibiotic during the last half their pregnancy.

Bottle Decay

Tooth decay occurs when liquids containing sugars sit on your baby’s teeth for prolonged periods. Cavities can develop in the front teeth. In severe cases, baby teeth will need to be extracted until permanent teeth grow in. Signs of bottle decay include pitted, pocked or discoloured front teeth.

Obviously fruit juices contain sugars, but so do breast milk and infant formula. Tempting as it may be, it is important not to let your baby fall asleep at night or naptime with a bottle. If you are breastfeeding, avoid letting the infant nurse continuously. If your baby is used to falling asleep sucking, try filling a bottle with water or giving your baby a pacifier recommended by Kids Dental. After each feed, use a clean, damp washcloth to gently rub residual sugars and bacteria from your baby’s teeth and gums.

Once your baby over six months old, they can switch from a bottle to a sippy cup (see our recommendations) to reduce the risk of bottle decay.

Fluoride

Even before teeth appear, your child needs to consume fluoride to strengthen the developing enamel. In most countries, municipal water supplies contain enough fluoride to help teeth develop. If you are unsure about fluoride levels, contact your local water district to find out if your tap water contains fluoride. If you regularly use bottled water for drinking and cooking, or have inadequate levels of fluoride in your water, you may want to consult your pediatrician or dentist. Your baby may need a prescription for fluoride supplements.

 

How to Care for Your Baby’s Teeth

Once primary teeth come in, you can begin brushing with a small, soft bristle brush especially for babies. Use a tiny amount of training toothpaste (without fluoride) that is safe to swallow. The earlier your child gets used to the sensation of a toothbrush in their mouth, the better.

Within six months of getting their first tooth, arrange for your child’s first visit to a pediatric dentist. Initial visits will help acclimatize your child to the dentist. Afterward, your child should see the dentist every 4-6 months. At Kids Dental Group, we take a proactive approach to deal with any developmental concerns or treatments.

If you have any questions or concerns about your child’s teeth, get in touch with Kids Dental Group at one of our convenient locations in Markham, Stouffville and Richmond Hill.


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