Get the healthy teeth you‘ve always wanted with regular visits to Sidney Centre Family Dentistry. Along with diagnosing any dental concerns you have, dental exams play a key role in the early detection of oral cancers. Once a treatment plan is determined, our team provides caring, comprehensive preventative and cosmetic dental treatments, from cleaning, fillings, root canals, extractions, dentures, crowns and bridges, to implants, veneers and tooth whitening. We cater to the needs of patients of all ages in Sidney and the surrounding area, and can adapt our services to fit your unique concerns.
Caring for Dentures
You need to care for false teeth and partial dentures as carefully as you would look after your natural teeth. Here’s how to care for your dentures:
Clean your dentures every day – Plaque and tartar can build up on false teeth, just like they do on natural teeth. There are brushes that are specially designed for dentures that can be purchased at most drug stores. Normal toothbrushes and toothpaste are too abrasive to be used on dentures. Be sure to brush your denture while holding it over a partially filled sink, so if you happen to drop it into the sink, the water prevents it from shattering.
Take your dentures out every night – After removing the dentures, clean and massage your gums carefully using a soft toothbrush. If your toothbrush hurts your gums, run it under warm water to make it softer or try using a finger wrapped in a clean, damp cloth.
Soak your dentures overnight – Full dentures can be soaked in a special cleaner for false teeth (denture cleanser), in warm water or in a mix of warm water and vinegar (half and half). However, if your denture has metal clasps, only use warm water. Soaking will loosen plaque and tartar, making them easier to remove when you brush the denture.
NOTE: Do not forget to pay attention to your remaining natural teeth, especially in areas where the denture rests against your teeth. These areas are very prone to cavities and should be kept clean.
Caring for Seniors – Natural Teeth
The Skin Inside the Mouth
Caring for Children
Each child will teethe at different times. Most children begin teething at about six months and most “baby” teeth are in by 3 years of age. The bottom front teeth usually appear first, followed by the top front teeth.
Does Teething Hurt?
Although many babies experience no pain, teething can cause some discomfort, making the baby irritable, fussy and not interested in eating. If your baby has a fever or diarrhea when teething, contact your family doctor.
Your baby may feel better if allowed to chew on a clean, chilled teething ring or wet face cloth. Teething cookies or biscuits are NOT a good choice, because they can stick to your baby’s teeth and cause tooth decay. Check with a health professional before using teething gels, ointments or teething tablets.
What Is Early Childhood Tooth Decay?
Your baby’s teeth can start to decay from the first day they appear in the mouth. When a child uses a bottle for prolonged periods, especially during rest or sleep times, decay can develop. The decay starts along the gum line behind the top front teeth, which makes it hard to see. It spreads to the front of these teeth and can often affect all of your baby’s teeth. Fruit juice, sweetened tea, pop and even breast milk, cow’s milk and formula all contain sugars that can cause tooth decay if left in contact with the teeth for lengthy periods of time. Water will not harm the teeth, so it is a good choice between regular feeding times.
Preventing Early Childhood Tooth Decay
Good dental health care for your baby starts before teeth begin to appear. Clean your child’s mouth every day. Start soon after birth by wiping all around your baby’s mouth with a clean, wet face cloth or soft baby toothbrush. This will get the child used to regular cleaning and can also ease teething discomfort.
Once teeth appear (at about 6 months of age), smear a little fluoride toothpaste on a wet face cloth or baby toothbrush and gently clean your baby’s teeth. It is important to get into the habit of doing this for your baby twice a day.
Cleaning Your Child’s Teeth
You should start cleaning your child’s mouth before your child has teeth so that the teeth can grow into a clean environment. Use a moist cloth or a soft baby brush and wipe all areas of the gums. Do not use toothpaste until your child has teeth.
Once the teeth have arrived, use a child-size soft toothbrush and a pea-sized dab of fluoridated toothpaste to clean his/her teeth. Flossing should start in any area where 2 or more teeth have erupted adjacent to each other. Brushing should be done in the morning and at night, and flossing should be done at night.
What about Fluoride?
Fluoride has been proven to be an effective and low-cost cavity fighter. Fluoride is added to most brands of toothpaste and is found naturally in some water supplies. A few major cities in Canada add a small amount of fluoride to their drinking water to raise the natural level to between 0.8 and 1.0 parts per million. This level is recommended for preventing tooth decay in all age groups by the Canadian Dental Association and the dental professionals of British Columbia. If you are unsure if your water supply contains optimum fluoride, call your local health unit. Fluoride supplements are often recommended for children in areas that do not have fluoride in the water and who are prone to cavities. This is a decision that should be discussed with your dentist.
Are Fillings Needed on Baby Teeth?
YES! When a baby tooth is broken or infected, several harmful things can happen if left untreated:
The infection can spread to other teeth in the mouth.
The adult tooth can be damaged as it erupts and pushes out the infected baby tooth.
Neighbouring teeth can move into the infected or broken area, resulting in crowding when the permanent teeth come in.
What about Soothers (Pacifiers)?
Soothers are sometimes given to infants at rest and sleep times or when the baby has been fed, but still wants to continue sucking. In the early weeks after birth, while breastfeeding is being established, it is not advisable to give your baby a soother, as it may interfere with their ability to learn how to breastfeed well. Talk to a public health nurse or another breastfeeding expert if you are having problems breastfeeding.
After feeding is well established if you choose to give your baby a soother, here are a few tips:
Choose a soother that is the right size for your baby’s mouth.
Check the soother nipples often: if it is sticky, cracked or torn, throw it away.
Never put the baby’s soother in your own mouth to clean it. This can infect your child with bacteria that can cause tooth decay.
Never dip the soother in honey or jam to sweeten it.
A soother is better than sucking a thumb because you can control when and how your child uses a soother. You can’t control a thumb going into the mouth. The soother should no longer be used after all the baby teeth have arrived (approximately 3 years). Prolonged use will affect how the adult teeth erupt.
When Should Baby’s First Checkup Be?
Your baby should have a dental exam within 6 months of the eruption of their first tooth. Generally, this is just a look-see appointment to make sure there is no evidence of baby bottle tooth decay and to review proper cleaning techniques. The child should be seen again by the age of 3. At this appointment, teeth are checked for proper eruption as well as signs of decay, oral hygiene techniques are reviewed and the teeth are cleaned.
Your Oral Health Affects Your Overall Health
Your mouth helps you to speak, eat a wide variety of foods and is important for your self-confidence and overall well-being. Untreated dental disease can lead to pain and infection. People with dental pain may have difficulty chewing and digesting food. They may have trouble sleeping, and their self-esteem and social life may be affected.
Dentists Treat You Not Your Dental Plan
According to the 2010 Canadian Health Measures Survey, 62% of Canadians have a dental plan, but many don’t realize that group plans aren’t designed to meet individual health needs. Dental plans are a valuable component of extended health benefits and are designed to offset the cost of dental treatment. Understanding how dental insurance plans work can help patients make informed choices in partnership with their dentist or certified specialist.
How to Care for Your Baby’s Teeth
Clean your baby’s gums and teeth twice a day. Use a smear of fluoride toothpaste the size of a grain of rice, and a soft facecloth or infant toothbrush. Be gentle – try distracting your baby with songs, talking or praise. It’s best not to put your baby to bed with a bottle of anything but water. Milk, juice and formula can cause serious tooth decay when left in a sleeping baby’s mouth. Your child should start seeing a dentist regularly within six months of getting their first tooth, or by age one.
Caring for Dentures
Oral hygiene is important to remove harmful bacteria and plaque from the teeth, gums and dentures and to keep the mouth healthy. For seniors and their caregivers, it can be challenging to maintain daily mouth care, but it is important to do as decay and infection can develop quickly. A healthy mouth supports good general health and overall well-being.
The Dental Exam – More than Just a Check-up
During the dental examination, your dentist will inspect a number of important areas and functions of your mouth to identify any early signs of dental disease and prevent small problems from becoming big ones.
Your Dentist, Your Insurance and You – How Our Roles Fit Together
Understand the role you, your insurance and your dentist have in planning your dental treatment.
Tooth Brushing Tips for Parents and Caregivers
Learn how to help your child brush properly to keep their teeth clean, healthy, and free from decay.
Antibiotics and Dental Care
Learn how and when we use antibiotics to prevent or fight dental infections.
Understanding Your Dental Plan and Dental Co-Payment
Learn about your dental coverage and what a dental co-payment is.
Serving Patients from Sidney, the Saanich Peninsula, Victoria and the Gulf Islands
Please contact Sidney Centre Family Dentistry for an appointment. We welcome patients of all ages!
We welcome patients of all ages!