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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 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 Dentures

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.
  • Brushing teeth while listening to music

Caring for Seniors

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.

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.

Caring for Children

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.

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