When should my child's first visit to the dentist be?

The Canadian Dental Association recommends having your child seen by a dentist by their first tooth or by the age of one. Prevention is the goal of having your child see us early. At the age of one, their first appointment will consist of discussing diet and nutrition, dental habits and an exam. As most children are not ready to sit in the dental chair at this age it will be done using the knee-knee method, where the child lays on both you and the doctors lap.

How often should my child be seen by a dentist?

Children should be seen every 6 months, the same as adults. Since their teeth and jaws are rapidly forming, this allows us to catch problems before they form or while they are small enough to be corrected easily.

Why bring my child to a Pediatric Dentist?

Pediatric dentists specialize in the care and prevention of oral disease in children, adolescents, and those with special needs. They have received additional training about the growth and development of a child and how to work with children in a dental setting. This training allows the pediatric dentist to work/diagnose efficiently within the child's physical, emotional and psychological development.

Does my child need fluoride at his/her appointment?

Using small amounts of fluoride on a routine basis can help prevent tooth decay. Using fluoride has been proven to be a safe and effective method for the prevention and control of decay. Fluoride can help strengthen and/or re-mineralize areas of a tooth that are weakened and beginning to develop cavities. Fluoride is recommended during regular routine dental hygiene appointments. However, if a parent or guardian feels otherwise, please let us know and we will skip the fluoride.

Why does my child need x-rays?

X-rays/radiographs are an important diagnostic tool used to detect caries (cavities) in between teeth, check bone levels, see how deep a visible cavity is, and see any abnormalities. We use digital x-rays which require significantly less radiation than the traditional film x-ray. This type of x-ray allows us to enhance the image to get a closer look and detect any deviance in your child's tooth. Your child is protected from any unnecessary radiation by wearing a lead apron with a thyroid collar and directing the x-ray cone to only the area needed. Additionally, we only take radiographs when and if they are needed based on the child's risk.

When should I begin flossing my child's teeth?

Flossing should be done daily to any teeth that are touching one another. This usually means flossing the back molars by the age of 3 and possibly flossing the front teeth even younger than that. This will help prevent any cavities from starting between teeth which is a very common area for decay to begin.

My child has a cavity on a baby tooth, do I need to fix it?

Usually yes, but it depends. Sometimes no treatment is needed if we know that the baby tooth will exfoliate/fall out soon (usually within 6 months). However, many of the cavities that we see are in the child's primary molars which do not fall out until the ages of 10-12. Leaving the decay in can lead to many dental problems and the bacteria can be passed down from the baby tooth to the adult one and affect the developing tooth underneath.

When does my child start to develop/lose their baby/permanent teeth?

Should I give my baby a pacifier?

Pacifier's help satisfy a baby's need for non-nutritive sucking or to soothe fussy behavior. Normal pacifier use during the first few years doesn't usually lead to dental problems. However, prolonged use may cause your child's top teeth to flare outwards and their lower teeth to tilt inwards creating a space where the pacifier can slide into. This can also affect your child's adult teeth to not come in properly.

What are the dental risks of bottle feeding?

Prolonged bottle use/nursing can cause many dental problems. When a toddler falls asleep while feeding the milk can remain on the child's teeth for an extended amount of time, this increases the risk/susceptibility towards developing tooth decay. This is particularly true at night as our saliva (which helps to protect the teeth) decreases significantly.