Here you will find answers to the most Frequently Asked Questions, however if you don’t find what you are looking for or if you require additional information, please contact us at (905) 224-2290 ext 2 or info@kidsdentistrichmondhill.com. We are happy to answer any questions anytime!

A pediatric dentist is a dental specialist who only treats kids, much like the pediatrician of dentistry. He/she completed 4 years of dental school and then went back to school for 2-3 years of additional training in treating children and adolescents. They are dedicated to the oral health of children from infancy through to the teenage years. The very young, pre-teens and teenagers all need individualized approaches guiding their behaviour, following their dental growth and development, and helping them avoid future dental problems. The pediatric dentist is best qualified to meet these needs
Teething, the process of primary (baby) teeth coming through the gums into the mouth varies among babies. Some infants get their teeth early, and some get them later. In general, the first baby teeth are usually the lower front (anterior) teeth and usually begin erupting between the ages of 6-8 months. All 20 primary teeth usually appear by age 3, the pace and order of their eruption varies and is often inconsequential. Permanent teeth USUALLY begin appearing at age 6, starting with the first molars and lower central incisors.
According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the Canadian Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and the American Academy of Pediatrics, “first visit by first birthday” is the general rule. We generally recommend that your child see a pediatric dentist no later than age 2, so that we can insure that good habits are in place early and to make sure that all of the intraoral structures are developing normally.
Baby bottle tooth decay is a pattern of rapid decay associated with prolonged nursing. It happens when a child goes to sleep while breast-feeding and/or bottle-feeding. During sleep, the flow of saliva is reduced and the natural self-cleansing action of the mouth is diminished. Avoid nursing children to sleep or putting anything other than water in their bedtime bottle.
Begin brushing as soon as teeth appear in the mouth. Use a wet soft-bristle infant size toothbrush with plain water or fluoride free toothpaste. We don’t generally recommend fluoride toothpaste until your little one can spit unless we deem your child to be at high risk for cavities, in which case we may recommend starting a with a small amount of fluoride toothpaste earlier. Until children can tie their own shoelaces, we recommend that parents brush for their kids. Once a child is ready to brush on his/her own, parents should still supervise brushing. Use no more than a pea-size amount of fluoride-containing toothpaste, and make sure children do not swallow excess toothpaste.
With contemporary safeguards, such as lead aprons and high-speed films, the amount of radiation received in a dental X-ray examination is extremely small. In fact, dental X-rays represent a far smaller risk than an undetected and untreated dental problem. Even though there is very little risk, we are particularly careful to minimize the exposure of our patients to radiation.
Primary, or “baby,” teeth are important for many reasons. Not only do they help children speak clearly and chew naturally, they also aid in forming a path that permanent teeth can follow when they are ready to erupt. Some of them are necessary until a child is 12 years old or longer. Pain, infection of the gums and jaws, impairment of general health and premature loss of teeth are just a few of the problems that can arise when baby teeth are neglected. Also, because tooth decay is an infectious disease, it can spread, and decay on baby teeth can cause decay on permanent teeth. Proper care of baby teeth is instrumental in enhancing the oral health of your child.
Four things are necessary for cavities to form — a tooth, bacteria, sugars or other carbohydrates and time. Dental plaque is a thin, sticky, colorless deposit of bacteria that constantly forms on everyone’s teeth. When you eat, the sugars/carbohydrates in your food cause the bacteria in plaque to produce acids that attack the tooth enamel. With time and repeated acid attacks, the enamel breaks down and a cavity forms.

The permanent molars are the most common teeth on which dental sealants are placed. In many cases, it is nearly impossible for children to clean the tiny deep and narrow grooves on the chewing surface of their back teeth. This may result in an accumaulation of plaque and bacteria, and a cavity may eventually form. When a sealant is applied, these grooves and crevices on the biting surface of the tooth disappear as they are filled with a liquid that is flowed into grooves and then hardened into a (BPA-free) plastic. When the grooves are sealed, food, plaque and bacteria can no longer get stuck in them, and cavities on the chewing surfaces of the teeth are much less likely to occur.

Sealants are a clear or shaded plastic coating applied to the teeth to help keep them cavity-free. Sealants fill in the grooved and pitted surfaces of the teeth, which are hard to clean, and shut out food particles that could get caught, causing cavities. Fast and comfortable to apply, sealants can effectively protect teeth for many years.

A mouth guard should be a top priority on your child’s list of sports equipment. Athletic mouth protectors, or mouth guards, are made of soft plastic and fit comfortably to the shape of the upper teeth. They protect a child’s teeth, lips, cheeks and gums from sports-related injuries. Any mouth guard works better than no mouth guard, but a custom-fitted mouth guard fitted by our doctors is your child’s best protection against sports-related peri-oral injuries.
First of all, remain calm. If possible, find the tooth and hold it by the crown rather than the root. Replace the tooth in the socket and hold it there with clean gauze or a washcloth. If you can’t put the tooth back in the socket, place the tooth in a clean container with milk and take your child and the glass immediately to your child’s pediatric dentist. The faster you act, the better the chances of tooth survival.
While the need to suck is a very natural and normal behaviour, most children stop these habits on their own, prolonged thumb and pacifier sucking habits (past age 4) can create crowded, crooked teeth or bite problems. If they are still sucking their thumbs or fingers when the permanent teeth come in, a mouth appliance may be recommended by your pediatric dentist.