Children & Teen Dentistry
Our Museum Dental team believe that a trip to the dentist should be fun, lighthearted, and not something to fear. The way your child is exposed to dentistry lays the groundwork for how they view dental care and dental visits for the rest of their lives.
Our Yorkville dentists and team love caring for our patients, and work hard to make sure each child is spoken to gently, treated with respect, and cared for as if they were our own child. We use simple words to explain procedures to our patients and make sure each parent or guardian is aware of the process as well.
Infant Oral Exams
Following the recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, our doctors suggest infants should come in for their first oral exam between the ages of six months to 1 year old.
Our Toronto dentist will review proper diet, age-appropriate hygiene, and go over pacifier use to make sure your child's oral health starts strong and stays strong.
Children's Dental Cleanings & Exams
Preventative care is one of the simplest and most important ways to make sure your child's teeth grow in strong and healthy. Giving them the proper tools and teaching them the right way to brush when they are young lays the groundwork that will create healthy habits they will carry with them into adulthood.
Most children have two cleanings a year, but children with a higher risk of caries may need more frequent visits. During a checkup, will your child's hygienist will clean their teeth and, if necessary, take x-rays and give your child a fluoride treatment. Our Toronto dentist will perform an exam and review if any treatment is needed.
Digital x-rays help diagnose cavities while they are tiny, often allowing for less invasive treatment. If they are caught early enough, decay may be stopped with some minor changes to your child's homecare routine.
Using digital x-rays, our Yorkville dentist can look for teeth that haven't erupted yet, make sure your child's jaws and teeth are developing well, and monitor whether orthodontic treatment will be needed in the future.
Today's digital x-rays expose your child to less radiation than ever before. Lead aprons and taking x-rays only when necessary further reduce your child's exposure.
Topical fluoride treatments help keep your child's teeth cavity-free between visits by strengthening the enamel. Depending on your child's age, the fluoride may be brushed onto your child's teeth or put into a foam tray and allowed to sit on their teeth. For younger children, a fluoride varnish is brushed onto the teeth. Fluoride varnish hardens when it comes in contact with saliva, forming a hard film that is brushed off later that evening.
Older children usually have a tray loaded with foam fluoride placed in their mouths for a specific amount of time along with a suction straw to remove any foam overflow and saliva. When the time is up, your child is told not to eat or drink for at least 30 minutes to allow the fluoride to work.
Our Museum Dental team are happy to answer all your questions about fluoride treatments and treatment options.
A frenum or frenulum is a small piece of tissue that attaches either the upper lip to the gum tissue or the tongue to the floor of the mouth. In some children, this frenum or frenulum is attached too tightly and can pull on the lips or gums causing tongue-tie, problems nursing, speech issues, trouble eating or drinking, or cause pulling on the gums around teeth that can create a periodontal issue as the child ages.
During a frenectomy, the dentist makes a small incision in the frenum or frenulum, allowing for greater movement of the lips. Results are instant, and this simple procedure can be done in-office with a local anesthetic. The incision site usually heals in a few days with little to no discomfort.
Our goal is for our patients to require the least amount of dental treatment possible. Children who enter adulthood with the fewest restored teeth generally have the lowest risk of future problems.
Sealants can dramatically reduce the number of cavities a child might develop throughout their childhood. On the chewing surface of molars, deep grooves run into the center of the teeth. Under a microscope, these crevices might look like a deep canyon. In reality, most of them are narrower than a single toothbrush bristle but that is still wide enough for bacteria to hide. It's easy to see how cavities can form in such a perfect hideout.
If the grooves in permanent molars are sealed at a young age, the risk of decay decreases dramatically. Fortunately, this procedure can be done quickly and without any discomfort or anesthetic. The sealant material creates a smooth surface, filling in the grooves and making the biting surface more manageable for little hands to keep clean. A resin material is flowed over the grooves and is sealed quickly with a blue curing light. Within a few minutes, your child's teeth are protected against cavities.
Sealants only last a few years and may need to be repaired or replaced periodically. But research confirms a 90% reduction in tooth decay along the chewing surface in sealed molars. This cost-effective, simple step may help your child enter adulthood with fewer fillings.
Dental health during the teen years offers another set of challenges. For most parents, this doesn't come as a big surprise. A dizzying number of changes strike during these formative years, and parents often experience a few frustrations along the way.
Teens listen more than we realize, and pestering parents can make a tremendous difference in the dental future of your young adult. You might feel like you are nagging, but believe it or not, the constant reminders to brush, floss, and eat well will sink in. Don't underestimate any encouragement given to help your teen avoid the long-term effects of cavities and gum inflammation.
Preventive visits every six months provide us with an opportunity to coach your teen and reinforce the efforts you're making with them. Sometimes the rapport we establish in a professional, yet friendly, setting proves especially effective.
Tips for home efforts that protect your teen's dental health:
- Limit sodas and energy drinks.Sugary, carbonated drinks are the number one cause of tooth decay in adolescents. Most 20-ounce bottles of soda are just 18 teaspoons of sugar mixed with an extremely acidic liquid. The combination can be devastating for teeth as well as your teen's overall health.
- Encourage brushing before bedtime. The hours spent sleeping can be especially harmful as the mouth dries out and bacteria flourishes.
- Explain the dangers of sharing toothbrushes. Bacteria that cause gum disease and cavities can easily transfer from one person to another. Slip dental floss or a toothpick in with their lunch or backpack.
- If your child is involved in a contact sport, you should speak to us about proper precautions including a professionally fitted Mouthguard. Many injuries can be avoided or made less severe by the protection provided by a mouthguard.
Depending on their development, activities and habits, your teen may want to consider orthodontic treatments such as braces or Invisalign. Schedule a free consultation appointment with us so we can explore the best treatment option to give them a confident and healthy smile.