General FAQ

With Regards to Tooth Loss.

Q. What should be done if my child has a baby tooth knocked out?

A. Contact us at our office as soon as possible.

Q. What should be done if one of my child’s permanent teeth is knocked out?

A. First rinse the tooth in cool water, without scrubbing it. If this is a realistic option place the tooth back in its socket and keep it there with clean gauze. If the tooth cannot be placed back in the socket put it in a glass of milk, or water if milk is not available. Visit our office as soon as possible. Call our emergency number if it is not during our office hours. Response time is crucial, the faster you are able to respond the higher the chances of the tooth being saved.

Q. What should be done if my child chips or fractures one of their teeth?

A. Contact us as soon as you can, again response time is essential to making repairs. Quick response time reduces the risk of infection and can save the tooth. It is also possible to bond a chipped portion of the tooth, putting it back together.

Q. What can I do to help my child’s toothache?

A. Call us and set up an appointment promptly. In the short term you can help alleviate any pain your child is experiencing by rinsing their mouth out with cold water and compressing the tooth.

Q. What are some ways to prevent dental injuries?

A. Mouthguards can greatly reduce or even prevent many dental injuries caused by sports. Child proofing at home can reduce injuries there. Scheduling regular check ups will also play an important role in preventing dental injuries.

Regarding Sealants

Q. What are sealants?

A. Tooth sealants are a plastic which a dentist uses to bond in the ridges of the chewing surface of a tooth. This is used to prevent tooth decay from forming.

Q. How do sealants work?

A. It can be very difficult for both children and adults to clean in the small ridges in between their teeth. A sealant is applied to make the tooth smoother and reduce the ridges making it much easier to clean effectively. There will not be anymore place where a toothbrush cannot clean. Tooth decay is reduced because plaque is not able to form as easily because the spaces can now be cleaned.

Q. How long will sealants last?

A. The lifetime of a sealant may vary. If they last anywhere from three to five years they are deemed to be effective, but they can last many years more. It is not rare to see sealants that were placed during adolescence last into adulthood. Checking the strength of sealants is a routine part of dentist appointments and any repairs that are necessary will be recommended if needed.

Q. Which teeth must be sealed?

A. Any tooth that is at risk of developing decay that a sealant could correct should be sealed. Usually it is the back teeth of children, the molars, which are sealed. This is because there are usually small ridges that are very difficult to clean which makes an ideal location for decay to start. But every mouth is different which is why recommending sealants is done case by case.

Q. How are sealants placed? What is the procedure?

A. Most of the time the procedure takes just one visit and can be very easy. First the tooth is cleaned, conditioned and then dried. The sealant is then placed on the groove of the tooth where it is given time to harden with the use of a special blue light. It is then polished down to not interfere with your bite. After the procedure you can go about your regular day to day activities.

Q. How important is flossing after the sealant procedure?

A. Flossing is as vitally important after the procedure as before. The use of sealants are just one tool against fighting tooth decay, using as many tools as possible will help battle tooth decay.

Q. Is the procedure affordable?

A. Applying sealants is not an expensive procedure. When you consider how much pain and further cost it can save you down the road by preventing a problem before it can become one. Sealants are covered by the majority of dental plans. Contact your insurance company to find out more about your coverage.

A gummy smile refers to a smile that shows too much gum tissue. It can be the result of a few issues.

Gums may become sensitive and agitated and overgrow as a result of braces. Teeth that seem short and have braces close to the gum line are more likely to have created the overgrowth that leads to a gummy smile. This is not because of subpar orthodontic care but is caused of the gum and bone thickness before the treatment.

Gums and bone will naturally recede as part of the typical tooth eruption process. When this recession does not happen it is referred to as an altered passive eruption and it will cause a gummy smile. Teeth may look like they are not long enough but they are actually just covered with extra gum tissue and bone. Teeth being too short is actually a very rare phenomenon. Bad habits such as teeth grinding (bruxism) and thumb sucking, can create extra pressure and forces on teeth which wear them down. This will inevitably change the look of those teeth. These issues can be solved with surgical procedures, orthodontics, or even with dental restorations like crowns and veneers.

Jaw and tooth growth can be affected by skeletal development problems. These problems can be solved if effective orthodontics are used around the ages of seven to nine. Jaw growth and cosmetics can be improved controlled and augmented.

Prior to the treatment it is essential to correctly assess the issues to receive and correct diagnosis. Many cosmetic problems can be remedied relatively easily while more skeletal issues can be much more cumbersome.

Before treatment: Gummy smile with excess gum tissue

After treatment: Removal of excess gum tissue

With Regards to Mouth Protectors.

Q. What is a mouth guard?

A. A mouth guard is made up of a soft plastic that can either be custom fitted or come in standardized sizes. They are usually used for the upper teeth.

Q. How do they protect teeth? Why are they important?

A. They effectively protect teeth from a wide variety of potential injury during sports. Most of the time they are thought of as only protecting teeth but they actually will help protect, the lips, tongue, jaw and cheeks. They can also help protect the wearer from head and neck problems like concussions.

Q. When should my child be wearing a mouthguard?

A. Your child should be wearing a mouthguard when they participate in any activity where there is risk of injury to the head face or neck. This includes a wide range of activities like, Skating, Baseball, Soccer, Hockey, Karate, Skateboarding, Rugby, and many others. Basketball, baseball and soccer have the most common injuries that could have been prevented with the use of a mouthguard.

Q. How do I choose the right mouthguard for my child?

A. Comfort is key, if a mouthguard is uncomfortable and bulky your child will not want to wear it. It should not hurt to wear or seriously interfere with speech. There are many options to choose from, and most can be found in stores that sell athletic equipment. Cheaper mouth guards tend to be more uncomfortable and less able to protect against injury. Our practice can also provide custom fitted mouth guards to maximize comfort and their ability to protect your child’s mouth during sports. The increased cost will be well worth it to avoid the cost and pain of serious injury.

Diet and Cavity Prevention

Q. How do I know if my child is getting the correct amount of fluoride in their diet?

A. If you do not live in an area that has water with fluoride your child will need a supplement in their diet to keep their teeth strong. Weight, age, brand of toothpaste and current fluoride levels help us pinpoint the exact amount needed for the supplement.

Q. What kind of diet is appropriate for my child’s teeth?

A. It is essential that your child eats a balanced diet that provides all the necessary nutrients for them to grow up strong and healthy. The four major food groups are a great place to start, Meat, Vegetables, Fruit, Fish and Eggs, Grains, and Dairy products play an important role in your child’s development.

Q. How does my child’s diet affect their dental health?

A. A balanced healthy diet will promote healthy gum tissue and reduce the risk and damage of tooth decay. Not to mention the other more general health benefits

Q. How do I make a safe diet for my child’s teeth?

A. A safe diet is a balanced diet. Keep track of what foods they eat and how often, Watch out for starches, sugars, and foods with high levels of acidity. Sugars can hide in a wide range of products, most people are surprised to learn that even milk contains sugar. Even staples like the peanut butter and jelly sandwich has sugar in both the jelly and peanut butter. To reduce the sugar and increase the nutritional value try adding fresh fruit slices. Read the labels on foods, learn about what is in them, and how sugary they are, it can be surprising to learn how much sugar is in your diet.

Q. If sugar and starches are the enemy, should I simply cut them out of my child’s diet?

A. No, lots of these foods are essential for your child’s health. The key is moderation, sugar and starches are ok when they are not consumed in excess. It is also important to decrease the risk. Try eating starchy foods with an entire meal, as that is better for your child’s teeth as well as your own. Sticky foods should also be avoided as they can be more difficult to wash away with other food, water or saliva. This means that they stick around and increase the risk of tooth decay.

Q.  What are some tips to help prevent tooth decay in infants?

A. Do not nurse your children to sleep, or put them to bed with a bottle of milk, juice or formula. If you do any of the remaining liquid can create bacteria that promote acid that damages teeth. A pacifier or a bottle of water will do the job without damaging teeth.

Martindale Dental provides both general and specialty dentistry under one roof.  For more than 20 years, our dentists have been advocates for their patients oral health care needs. Our dental offices are conveniently located in Hamilton (Jackson Square), St Catharines, Burlington and Cambridge, Ontario. We offer convenient appointments before or after work & on weekends.


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