WHY DO I NEED TO TAKE CARE OF MY CHILD’S BABY TEETH?

Baby teeth can get cavities just like adult teeth. If the cavity becomes big, the tooth can become painful or even infected. If the baby tooth can’t be saved, it may need to be removed.

We all know that teeth are necessary for eating, speaking and smiling, but did you know that baby teeth are also space holders for adult teeth? Baby teeth are meant to stay in place, until your child is around 12 years old. If a baby tooth is removed or lost too early, neighbouring teeth may tip into the space. By the time the adult tooth is finally ready to come out, the space may no longer be big enough for it to come out straight. 

Baby teeth hold space for adult teeth

When Should my Child Start Going to the Family Dentist?

In addition to brushing at home, early checkups are important for maintaining the baby teeth. The Canadian Dental Association recommends that your child’s first visit be within 6 months of the first tooth appearing or by age one, whichever comes first. 

The first dental checkup should be soon after their first tooth comes out or by the age of one.

HOW CAN I PREPARE MY CHILD FOR THE FIRST VISIT?

  • Read a children’s book about going to the dentist.
  • Watch an educational video on YouTube about going to the dentist.
  • Bring your child’s favourite stuffed animal or comforting blanket to the visit.
  • Role-play at home using toys as dentists and patients.
  • Bring your child along to your own dentist appointment. This may help your child get used to the dentist environment.
Role play using toys as patient and dentist.

WHAT IS DONE AT MY CHILD’S CHECKUP VISIT?

  • A ride in the dental chair
  • A review of the medical and dental history.
  • A checkup of the teeth, gums, and the bite to see if things are developing in the way they should.
  • Depending on the age and cooperation of your child, x-ray images may be taken to check for cavities and dental development.
  • A gentle cleaning to remove plaque, if applicable.
  • Fluoride treatment, if applicable.
  • A review of home care recommendations, along with what habits to watch out for.
  • A meeting with Twinkles, the unicorn dental puppet, to teach your child good brushing and flossing habits.
  • Your child gets a dental care goodie bag and a prize from the treasure chest at the end of the appointment.
The gums, teeth and bite and checked to see if things are developing as they should.

HOW OFTEN SHOULD MY CHILD GO FOR ROUTINE CHECKUPS?

Generally, routine checkups (also known as recall exams) are recommended every 6 months. However, each child is different, so your child’s suggested frequency may vary..

Routie checkups are generally recommended once every 6 months.

Who We Are

Dr. Anthony Bellusci and Dr. Vivian Chow are general dentists and owners of Vivant Dental, located in the Panorama area of Surrey, BC. We enjoy working with kids and we strive to create pleasant dental experiences every time they’re in our office. If you have any questions or would like to make an appointment with us, feel free to contact us. 

SDF, or sodium diamine fluoride is a liquid antimicrobial that is applied at the dental office to stop the progression of small cavities. It is a conservative approach to managing dental decay. When applied to a cavity, it can remineralize, or strengthen the cavitated tooth structure. The procedure only takes a few minutes. It’s quick, and doesn’t require any anesthetic.

Frequently Asked Questions

What situations may SDF be recommended For?

Although we usually manage cavities by removing the decay, and placing fillings, it’s not always possible. These are some situations that may benefit from the use of SDF:

  • for patients with many cavities that can’t be restored right away
  • when there are behavioural, physical, or medical challenges that may prevent getting other dental procedures done
  • when there are barriers to accessing dental care
  • for cavities that are difficult to treat

Can SDF be applied to all cavities?

SDF is used to control early cavities. SDF is not used for very deep cavities that are close to the innermost layer of the tooth (also known as the pulp), or if the tooth is painful. We also avoid using it where esthetics is a concern. 

Are there any side effects?

The main side effect is that SDF leaves a brown or black stain when it is applied to dental decay. However, it doesn’t stain healthy, sound enamel. 

SDF should not be used on patients with silver allergies, or certain gum and soft tissue conditions.

Is SDF the same as THE fluoride that is Typically applied at the end of cleaning appointments?

No, SDF is different from the topical fluoride treatment you routinely get at dental cleaning appointments. The type of fluoride used at hygiene appointments is mainly aimed at preventing future cavities, not arresting existing ones. That type of fluoride does not leave a stain. 

Still have questions?  Contact Vivant Dental in Surrey today.

  1. Stay hydrated! The Canadian Dental Association recommends choosing water as your drink of choice.
  2. Protect your enamel. Bacteria break down sugars to create acids that degrade the mineral structures in your teeth. Therefore, try to limit sugary and acidic foods and beverages. Click here to read more on nutrition.
  3. Brush your teeth twice a day with fluoridated toothpaste. Don’t forget to floss!
  4. Protect your lips from the sun. Long term sun exposure increases the risk of lip cancers. Use UV-protective lip balm with a SPF (sun protective factor) of 30 or higher.
  5. Visit your dental team for regular check-ups and cleanings.
  6. Wear a custom mouth guard while playing sports to reduce the risk of chipped teeth, and to protect against cuts to the soft tissues in the mouth.

You’ve all heard of dental cavities, but what are they and how do they form? Dentist often refer to cavities and tooth decay as “dental caries”. Caries form over time when certain types of bacteria in your mouth consume sugars and turn them into acids that weaken the mineral structures in your teeth. This process is called “demineralization”. 

Do dental caries need to be Treated?

Teeth are comprised of several layers. Enamel is the outermost layer, and also the hardest. If a cavity is small, and the demineralization is contained in the enamel layer, we may be able to use preventative measures instead of doing a filling. Brushing, flossing, and fluoride applications are examples of preventative measures that can be used while the tooth is monitored. 

ways to restore teeth with caries

If the decay has extended past the enamel, we recommend restorative work, such as a fillings. If the loss of tooth structure is more extensive, crowns (commonly known as caps), and possibly root canal therapy may be needed to save the tooth. Unfortunately, if untreated, cavities can progress to a point where a tooth cannot be saved, and the tooth would have to be removed.

how do i reduce the risk of caries?

  • Limit snacking between the main meals. Each time you eat, your mouth becomes more acidic for a while, which promotes mineral loss.
  • Choose water over sugary beverages.
  • Brush each tooth everyday to reduce dental plaque, which contains harmful bacteria.
  • Use a fluoridated toothpaste or mouth rinse to promote the remineralization of teeth.
  • Consider Xylitol products. Xylitol is a natural sugar substitute that bacteria cannot metabolize into acids. (Keep away from pets.)

Can a tooth develop caries after it has been fixed?

Yes. The tooth structure surrounding your fillings can still be demineralized. Brush, floss, and maintain your teeth even after getting fillings!

Have additional questions? Contact us below.

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