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Family and Cosmetic Dentistry, Serving Sidney, the Saanich Peninsula and the Gulf Islands

Get the healthy teeth you’ve always wanted with regular dental exams and treatments from Sidney Centre Family Dentistry. Our team provides caring, comprehensive dental services, from teeth whitening and dentures to veneers, fillings and dental cleaning. Sidney, BC patients can find a wealth of information on this page about our treatments as well as after-care tips. We cater to patients of all ages and can adapt our services to fit your unique needs. For additional information, you can also call our office to speak to our team about all of your oral health needs.

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.
  • 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.

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Caring for Seniors – Natural Teeth

Natural Teeth

  • Stand behind them to brush and floss their teeth.
  • Have them sit in front of the sink. That way, you can make the same motions you use when you brush and floss your own teeth.
  • Make sure you use a soft toothbrush. Alternatively, you may find an electric toothbrush easier. Ask them to tell you if you are brushing too hard.
  • Have them rinse with warm water when you are done.

False Teeth

  • Have them tell or show you how to take the false teeth or “partial” out.
  • Complete and partial dentures must be cleaned daily.
  • Look for cracks in the denture. If you find any, take it to a dentist for repair.
  • Fill the sink with water. (This will give the dentures a soft place to land if they’re dropped.)
  • Scrub the false teeth or partial denture with a denture brush and soap.
  • Rinse with water when you finish cleaning.
  • Soak false teeth overnight.
  • When re-inserting false teeth, put the upper set back first, and then the lower set.

The Skin Inside the Mouth

  • Ask if it is okay to look inside their mouth.
  • Check the mouth closely. Look for any swelling, red or white patches, parts of the gums that have changed colour, and sores that do not heal in a few days.
  • If you see any of these things, make an appointment to bring them to their dentist.
  • Clean and massage the inside of their mouth with a damp cloth or a soft toothbrush.

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Dental Emergencies


  • Call our office. Explain your symptoms and ask to be seen as soon as possible.
  • Ease the pain. Take an over-the-counter pain medicine that works for you, but do NOT put the pills on your sore tooth. Hold an ice pack against your face at the spot of the sore tooth.
  • Do not put a heating pad, a hot water bottle or any other source of heat on your jaw. Heat will make things worse instead of better.

Knocked-Out Tooth

  • If the knocked-out tooth is an adult tooth, we may be able to save it, but you must act quickly.
  • If the tooth looks clean, put it back in its place (its socket). If this is not possible, or if there’s a chance that the tooth might be swallowed, put it in a container of cold milk.
  • Go to our office, or to the nearest dentist, right away.
  • If you get help within 10 minutes, there is a fair chance that the tooth will be able to be saved.

Broken Tooth

  • Broken teeth can almost always be restored.
  • Call our office and explain what happened. We will see you as soon as possible and determine what treatment is required in order to fix the tooth.
  • If it’s a small break, we may only need to use a white filling to fix the tooth.
  • If the break is significant, a root canal may be needed. Your tooth may also need a crown (also called a cap).

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Dental Care 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 in to 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 other 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 eruption sequence and signs of decay, oral hygiene is reviewed and the teeth are cleaned.

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Instructions After Dental Surgery


  • Eat cool, soft food.
  • Eat a high-calorie, high-liquid diet for days 1 and 2.
  • Eat on the other side of your mouth until healing has occurred.

Oral Hygiene

  • Day 1: Brush non-surgical areas only.
  • Day 2: Use a warm salt water rinse.
  • Day 3: Resume regular oral hygiene.
  • No drinking alcohol while taking pain medication, as they may have a negative interaction.
  • No sucking through a straw or smoking for 24 hours as this creates negative pressure within the mouth and prevents a proper blood clot from forming. The result is a dry socket.
  • Limit physical activity for 12 hours. Limit extensive activity until your body has completely recovered from the surgery.

Post-operative complications and tips

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Veneers, Crowns, Bridges and Implants

Veneers are very thin restorations made with tooth-coloured porcelain. They are bonded to the front of the teeth visible in your smile to improve the appearance of your smile. Although they are thin, once bonded to the teeth, they are very strong. The advantage of veneers is that very little tooth structure is removed in their preparation because they are so thin. Also, unlike a composite filling, the porcelain will not stain over time. The disadvantage of veneers is that they offer no structural support to the tooth at all. If any support is required, a crown must be placed instead of a veneer.

Crowns, bridges, and implant-supported crowns and bridges are made with a porcelain material fused to an underlying metal substructure. The metal gives strength to the restorations, while the porcelain allows them to be matched to the colour of your teeth. The advantage of this fused material is that, because it has both the strength of metal and the aesthetics of porcelain, it can be used anywhere in the mouth. The disadvantage is that it is not a thin material, so it requires more tooth preparation in order to fit into the mouth.

Process for Veneers, Crowns and Bridges
At the first appointment, teeth are prepared for the restoration. An impression is taken of the prepared teeth, and a temporary restoration is placed.

The impression is sent to the lab where stone is poured into it to make a model of your prepared teeth. The veneer, crown or bridge is then made on this model.

At the second appointment, the temporary restorations are removed, and the new veneer, crown or bridge is tried in the mouth for ideal fit and colour-matching. Once this is completed, the restoration is permanently cemented into the mouth. Usually, this second appointment is relatively quick (15-20 minutes) and doesn’t require any freezing.

Process for Implant-Supported Crowns and Bridges
Often an implant is a better option than a bridge for replacing a missing tooth. In these cases, patients are referred to a periodontist to have the implant itself placed in the bone of the jaw.

After approximately 3 months, the implant will have completely integrated into the jaw, so it will essentially be acting just like a tooth root.

Once this fusion of the bone with the implant has occurred, patients return to our office to have a crown made for the implant. The steps in this are exactly the same as having a regular crown placed.

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Oral Health General 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 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.


Dental Exam

It is also important to understand that your dental insurance coverage is based on the plan purchased by your employer for all employees, which may or may not cover your unique oral health care needs. Review your plan and discuss this with your dentist so that you can understand your options and can make the best decision for your own health.


Handout Insurance

Conducts an exam and diagnoses any oral health issues.


Tooth Brushing Tips for Parents and Caregivers

Guide to maintain clean, healthy teeth and preventing tooth decay.


Antibiotics and Dental Care

Use of antibiotics in fighting and preventing tooth infections.


The Dental Plan Co-Payment

Understanding your dental coverage.


Also Serving the Saanich Peninsula

Contact Sidney Centre Family Dentistry for an appointment. We welcome patients from Sidney and the Saanich Peninsula.

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