FAQs About Children's Dental Care

At Pediatric Dental Associates, we know how important your children's oral health is. Read our FAQs for everything you need to know about children's dentistry and at-home maintenance for your kids.


Frequently Asked Questions, Children's Dental Services, Etobicoke

What is a pediatric dentist?

A pediatric dentist is a dentist who has received special training in the treatment of children's dental needs. Pediatric dentists have extra training to not only provide care to your child, but also to coach you and your family on children-specific oral health concerns, like nutrition counselling. By training children about proper hygienic habits at an early age, parents and caregivers can set them up for a lifetime of good oral health. Pediatric dentists are trained to specifically see issues in a child’s oral health that may be left untreated if missed. Read more about your child’s first visit to the dentist, and what you can expect.

What do I do about my child's tooth growing in?

Even though you can't see them, children’s baby teeth begin forming before they are even born. At around four months old, primary teeth begin pushing through the gums. By the age of three, all 20 primary teeth should have erupted. Parents can use a washcloth with warm water to swab gums to clean a child’s mouth after every meal. Read more about tooth eruption, and the services we provide once your children shows the first signs of eruption.

What should I expect at my children's first dental appointment?

Your child’s first dental visit should be scheduled around his or her first birthday. During this time the dentist can examine your child’s dental development and address issues such as baby bottle decay, or any teething tenderness while providing preventive care when needed. Read more about what to expect on your child’s first visit and why early examination and preventative dental care are important for the health of your child.

What advice do you have for helping my kids brush?

The first step to brushing teeth is to choose a good toothbrush. Our pediatric dentist recommend a toothbrush with a small head, and soft bristles. Depending on your dentist's advice, you may also want to choose a toothpaste that contains fluoride. Your dentist will let you know when your child is ready for toothpaste. They can start brushing their own teeth when they can hold a fork. Try to get them to brush for at least 2-4 minutes at least twice a day. Read our step by step guide for brushing teeth, and our recommended toothpaste brands.

How important is flossing for kids?

Flossing is the best way to clean the surfaces of your children's teeth. If you can get your child to floss at least once a day before bed, you are doing a great job! You can also encourage them to floss after eating. Making flossing fun and leading by example are good ways to get your kids involved. Read our step by step guide on how to floss.

Which is better for kids: an electric or a manual toothbrush?

Did you know that there are electric brushes for kids? Although not all electric brushes are the same, these studies conclude that in general electric brushes are more efficient in controlling plaque than manual brushes. Theoretically, you can do a very good brushing with a regular hand brush, but the movements of an electric brush make the task easier and more effective. Ask your pediatric dentist before making the decision for your child to use an electric brush. Read more about our comparison of electric vs. manual brushes, and what brands you should consider.

How is children's oral health affected by what they eat?

We all know that sugar in high quantities can have adverse effects on the body. But many may not know that sugar is the main cause of dental decay. Frequency of consumption is just as important as the quantity. Cutting down on your children's sugar intake is good for cavity prevention and overall health. Read more about foods we recommend or caution against for maintaining oral health.

Does fluoride prevent decay for children?

Children who were born and raised in areas with natural fluoride in drinking water have fewer cavities than children in other areas. Fluoride absorbed by your body when teeth were forming (during mother’s pregnancy to early childhood) integrates into the structure of enamel and makes it stronger. Read more about our profile on fluoride, and why your child should be exposed to its benefits.

Can nursing or baby bottles cause tooth decay?

Baby bottle tooth decay is the result of frequent, prolonged contact with liquids that contain sugars such human breast milk, fruit juices, milk, formula or any other sweetened drinks. As sugars break down in the mouth, bacteria start feeding on the sugars, produce acids and cause tooth decay. If they are left untreated, decaying teeth may cause discomfort and pain in children. Read more about our tips on preventing baby bottle tooth decay.

Is a tongue piercing safe for my kids?

Body piercing has become a popular form of body modification in today’s society. Tongue piercings are one particular procedure with high risks. Despite their popularity, it is important to know the associated risk factors with the piercing process.

There are many health risks involved with oral piercings some including chipped or cracked teeth, blood clots, blood poisoning, receding gums or scar tissue. Your mouth is home to millions of bacteria that can easily promote infection in an oral piercing. Your tongue could swell large enough to close off your airway, can affect your speech and can even be a danger if swallowed.

Common symptoms after piercing include pain, swelling, infection, an increased flow of saliva and damage to gum tissue. Difficult-to-control bleeding or nerve damage can result if a blood vessel or nerve is cut by the piercing needle. Even without complications, healing takes four to six weeks..

What is the best option for tooth fillings for kids?

When considering tooth fillings, one of the options available are composite fillings which are made from durable plastics that are similar in color to natural teeth. Read more about tooth fillings, and the best options for your child.

What is nitrous gas?

Nitrous gas is used a sedative for kids at our dentist office. It is comprised of a blend of oxygen and nitrous oxide. While most children feel comfortable visiting the dentists, some do not. Nitrous gas, or laughing gas, is breathed in and your child will be fully conscious and maintain all natural reflexes. Learn more about nitrous gas and how the procedure will work for your child.

Does a sports mouth guard really protect my children?

Mouth guards are soft plastic appliances that shape themselves to the upper teeth and are important sports equipment. They protect teeth, lips, cheeks, and tongue and may be able to help prevent head injuries such as concussions and jaw fractures.

If your child is involved in a physical activity in which their head is in contact with other players or equipment then consider getting a mouth guard for your child.  There are various types of appliances available so call our offices for more information or to schedule an appointment with one of our doctors to find out what type of mouth guard is best for your child.

Connect with our team today to discuss your questions in further detail. Our Etobicoke Pediatric dentists can help care for your child's oral health needs.


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We are a pediatric dentist office providing children's dentistry in Etobicoke and the GTA.