Blog of Cawthra Dental
Baby teeth follow a general schedule for eruption (coming in) and exfoliation (coming out.) This eruption pattern varies from child to child to a certain extent within a normal limit.
When Do Baby Teeth Erupt and Fall Out?
You can expect your baby to start teething their first teeth around 6-10 months, give or take a couple of months. The first teeth to erupt will be the lower front two teeth. The upper teeth always follow the lower teeth. All eight front incisors on the top and bottom will exfoliate, and the new adult teeth will have erupted around eight years old, where there will then be a lull of a few years where not much happens. Around 9-12 years old, the back teeth will be lost subsequently. It is important to note that around six years old, the first set of adult molars erupt behind the last baby teeth, and no baby teeth are lost to get these first molars. Generally speaking, girls lose their baby teeth and get their adult teeth slightly earlier than boys. You can expect your child to have a full set of adult teeth around 12-14 years old, with the second molars’ eruption called the “12-year” molars.
Several problems can arise when baby teeth are falling out and adult teeth are erupting, but most of the time, these aren’t real problems but may just cause spacing issues later on.
Common issues your child may encounter when losing their baby teeth:
- A double row of teeth, meaning the adult tooth is erupting behind the baby tooth before the baby tooth falls out (which most often occurs in the lower front)
- Canines that erupt too high up on the gums
- A baby tooth fragment left in the gums after the tooth falls out
- A tooth that is delayed in eruption, caused by an ectopic adult tooth under the gums
These are all common issues that your child’s dentist is well aware of and will be checking for with x-rays and exams routinely, which is why it’s essential to bring your child in for regular dental check ups and dental hygiene cleanings. There are often early intervention treatment options to correct these problems and even prevent them from occurring when caught early enough.
Partial/ Full Dentures
Whether you are missing one or all of your teeth, a denture is an option for you. Partial dentures are used to replace one or several missing teeth and include “pontic” teeth, which fill the spaces of the missing teeth. Full dentures are plates containing an entire arch of pontic teeth that are able to fill an entire arch. Partial dentures use clasps and wires to hold the denture in place, where full dentures need some adhesive to attach the denture to the roof of the mouth. Dentures are created by taking impressions of each arch and a bite registration to create the perfect fit. The downside to dentures is that they can be challenging to get used to, may not feel as comfortable as natural teeth and can break over time.
A dental bridge is an excellent option for replacing 1 or 2 teeth side by side. A dental bridge uses the two surrounding teeth as support for the pontic(s) that fills the missing tooth/teeth space. Dental bridges can last 10-20 years if cared for properly. The downside to dental bridges is that both teeth on either side of the space need to be sanded down to place crowns on them, even if they are healthy teeth.
Dental implants are the best option for replacing missing teeth. Dental implants can be used for single missing teeth to entire arches of missing teeth. Dental implants function and feel like natural teeth. As well, they last a lifetime if properly cared for. Implants are also the only tooth replacement option that preserves the jawbone from resorbing. A dental implant consists of a titanium screw inserted into the jawbone and a porcelain or ceramic crown placed on top. The titanium screw is left for 4-6 months before the crown is placed to heal properly in the bone before receiving any biting forces. Implant-supported dentures can be used for an entire arch of missing teeth by placing several implants along the jaw and a fixed denture supported on top. The benefit of an implant-supported denture over a standard denture is that it is fixed and doesn’t need to be removed.
If you have any questions about options for missing teeth, we encourage you to contact us today to schedule an appointment.
“Wisdom teeth” are your 3rd molars that erupt around 16-20 years old. It is also possible to have wisdom teeth that never erupt into the mouth, and remain under the gums. Oftentimes there isn’t enough room in your mouth for these teeth, and they may need to be extracted before they cause you problems. Wisdom teeth impaction can lead to pain, swelling, dental infection, unexpected shifting of other teeth and even cavities on your second molars due to the close proximity.
Wisdom Tooth Extraction Procedure
Your wisdom teeth can be extracted by your dentist or an oral surgeon. The procedure can be done while you are awake or asleep, however, most patients are able to complete treatment while awake easily. This all depends on the difficulty of the extractions, how impacted they are, what location they are in, and the comfort of you and your dentist.
- To start, you may or may not be put to sleep with IV sedation
- Your dentist will use specialized tools to remove the wisdom teeth
- The extraction area may or may not be stitched up with dissolving stitches
- You will be given post op instructions for care
Benefits of Wisdom Tooth Extraction
- It may reduce your risk of dental infection
- A reduced risk of pain and swelling
- Minimize risk of misalignment or shifting of nearby teeth
- Removing wisdom teeth is easier when they are not infected (do it early before it becomes an issue)
If you experience pain or swelling with your wisdom teeth, see your dentist right away.
- Wisdom teeth extraction recovery usually lasts only a few days
- Do not smoke or use a straw until fully healed
- It is often best to remove all of your wisdom teeth at once instead of just 1 or 2, because teeth only function with opposing teeth
- You may not have all 4 wisdom teeth, it is common for people to be missing 1, 2, 3 or all of their wisdom teeth in some cases.
What Happens During a Dental Cleaning?
We all love our teeth after a dental cleaning; they feel smooth, fresh and clean. But what is occurring during that dental cleaning?
The bacteria accumulating on your teeth, called plaque, sits around and eventually calcifies (or hardens) into tartar, called calculus. When calculus forms on your teeth surfaces, it creates the perfect place for more bacteria to adhere to. Oral bacteria cause an immune response in your gums, which results in inflammation. During your dental cleaning, all the plaque and calculus are removed from your teeth surfaces, above and below the gum line. A combination of an ultrasonic water jet and hand scalers are used to remove the bacteria, and stains are polished off with a polishing tool. If there is inflammation in your gums, you may experience some bleeding and tenderness during the cleaning, which will subside shortly after.
Did you know that your oral health is linked, in many ways, to your overall health? Good oral hygiene is linked to improved cardiovascular health, a lower risk of pneumonia, and a lower risk of premature birth during pregnancy. This is because the bacteria from your mouth can travel in your bloodstream to other parts of your body, increasing potential health risks. Of course, oral bacteria also lead to problems with your teeth, including cavities, gum disease and even tooth loss.
How Frequent Should You Have a Dental Cleaning?
It is recommended to see your dental hygienist for routine dental cleanings at least every six months. Your dental hygienist can clean areas that are difficult and sometimes impossible for you to reach with a toothbrush and floss at home. If you have current or past gum disease, recession, braces, or cavity-prone, it is recommended to have your dental cleaning more frequently, for instance, every 3-4 months. Talk with your dental hygienist about how often you should have your dental cleanings.
Only Floss the Teeth You Want to Keep!
So, what can you do at home to keep your teeth and gums healthy? It is important to brush at least twice a day, using either an electric or a soft manual toothbrush with fluoride toothpaste. It is also essential to floss your teeth at least once a day, making sure to access slightly underneath your gums.
Xylitol is a naturally occurring plant alcohol found in most fruits and vegetables. For use in medicines, it is mostly extracted from birch wood. Xylitol is used as a sugar substitute in order to reduce the sugar content in many chewing gums, mints and candies. Xylitol’s medicinal uses include preventing ear infections and as an additive to foods to help patients with diabetes and prevent tooth decay and dry mouth.
How Does It Work?
Xylitol tastes sweet but is not converted into acids in the mouth like sugar is. Xylitol is able to transform the type of oral bacteria from the kind that causes cavities, to the kind that doesn’t cause cavities. It is essential to use xylitol products on an on-going basis, as just one use won’t prevent cavities. Make sure the dose of xylitol in the products you are using is enough because it is recommended to intake between 1-20 grams of xylitol per day to experience the cavity preventing benefits. Some xylitol-containing products only contain a trace amount of xylitol, so make sure to look at the label.
Xylitol is safe within the recommended daily doses (that being between 1-20 grams per day for adults and children) If more is ingested, it can lead to gastrointestinal upset such as gas and diarrhea. If a huge amount of xylitol is ingested for a long duration of time (more than three years), there is a potential link to tumours. For both adults and children, make sure to stay within the safe range of ingestion, under 20 grams per day.
It is important to note that xylitol is toxic for dogs, even in small amounts. Make sure to keep xylitol products out of the reach of dogs and small children. If your dog ingests a xylitol product, bring them to the vet immediately.
In addition to using xylitol products, also continue using fluoride toothpaste to help combat the risk of cavities for yourself and your child. If you have any questions about xylitol or how much to use, we encourage you to contact us today to schedule an appointment.
Dear Valued Patients,
We hope this letter finds you and your family in good health. We are excited to let you know that we are resuming all non-essential and elective treatment.
Our community has been through a lot over the last few months, and all of us are looking forward to resuming our normal habits and routines. While many things have changed, one thing has remained the same: our commitment to you and your family’s oral health needs and safety.
Infection control has always been a top priority for our practice, as you may have witnessed during your visits. The safety and comfort of our dear patients and staff is of utmost importance.
Our office has always adhered to the guidelines published by Health Canada, the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario, and the College of Dental Hygienists of Ontario, and continues to do so.
You will see some changes when you attend your upcoming appointments.
● Our office will communicate with you beforehand to review Covid-19 screening questions, and the same screening questions will be asked again upon your arrival.
● We will call your mobile phone when we are ready to allow you entrance into the building. Until then, you will be asked to wait in your car. If you do not have a mobile phone, you are welcome to knock on our front door and we will come out to let you know when we are ready to see you.
● You will see additional signage regarding Covid-19 symptoms, cough etiquette, etc.
● Our administrative staff will be behind a barrier or be wearing masks and eye protection..
● We will request hand sanitization upon entry.
● We will need you to wear your own mask (cloth or homemade masks are GREAT!).
● We will take your temperature, and if no sign of a fever, you will be escorted directly to the operatory.
● After completion of treatment you will be required to wear your mask.
● You will be escorted to the administration desk for any necessary billing and or appointment scheduling.
● We request that you maintain a 6 ft distance from the admin staff if possible, and keep your mask on at all times, except when receiving treatment.
● We request that if you develop any Covid-19 symptoms, 0-14 days after your appointment, you contact the office and inform the administrative staff.
● We request payment via debit or visa if possible, avoiding cash.
● We are disinfecting all touch surfaces frequently, and have increased housekeeping services.
We appreciate your patience, trust and loyalty during this time, and look forward to seeing you soon!
Cawthra Dental Management
Sports guards are a form of mouthguard that is used during contact sports such as hockey, lacrosse and basketball. Any time there is a chance of trauma from an object or another person, a sports guard is recommended. There are two main types of sports guards, which are professionally made and store-bought. Both types have their pros and cons.
Professionally Made Sports Guards
Professionally made sports guards are the gold standard for sports guards because they fit precisely to your mouth and teeth and offer you the best protection. This type of sports guard is made by taking an impression of your teeth and sending the impression to a dental lab to be made. The sportsguard will be fabricated out of acrylic. Because professionally made sports guards offer the best protection and are custom made, they are more expensive than store-bought mouth guards. Sometimes the cost of the sports guard may be covered by your insurance provider.
Store Bought Sports Guards
Store-bought sports guards are only recommended in a couple of situations because they don’t do as good of a job preventing injury and trauma. Store-bought guards will be recommended for children whose mouths and teeth are constantly changing, as well as for someone going through orthodontic work, for the same reason. Store-bought guards are usually boil and bite, which means they need to be heated up and moulded to your teeth.
How to Care for Your Sports Guard
- Make sure to clean your sports guard between use with a separate toothbrush and store it in a sports guard case
- Never use hot water on your sports guard as this may change the shape
- Never remove your sports guard with your tongue or chew on it
- If your sports guard is loose or has cracks and chips in it, bring it into your dentist to take a look at it, it may be time for a new guard
While some are enjoying the downtime that staying at home has brought, there are some of us who grow restless. However, it is vital that we all stay at home as much as possible to flatten the curve of COVID-19. Rest assured, that there are still many online activities that you can take part in to help pass the time.
DON’T FORGET ABOUT YOUR ORAL CARE
We all know that is is important to keep up with our brushing and flossing everyday. However, it is vital during COVID-19 to keep up with your oral health while at home. If you know that your oral care needed help before, this is the time to work on it. Always follow the recommended guidelines, ensuring that you brush your teeth at least twice everyday. Be sure to also floss in the morning and before going to bed. It is vital to floss before bed to remove any stuck food from your teeth and gums.
CONSIDER SIGNING UP FOR FREE TRIALS AND SERVICES
Please note that some of the free trials may require your credit card details to complete the sign-up process. Read all terms and conditions before you sign up for any free or paid service.
Online Streaming Services
- Crave (30 Day Trial)
- Amazon Prime Video (30 Day Trial)
- AppleTV (7 Day Trial)
- Netflix (30 Day Trial)
- Hulu – (30 Day Trial)
- Disney+ (7 Day Trial)
Other Free Services
- Duolingo (Free Language Learning)
- Grow With Google (Free Online Courses For All)
- Coursera (Free For University & College Students)
- Skillshare (Free For Students)
- Audible (Free For Kids & Teens)
- Archive.org (Free For Everyone)
ESSENTIAL GOVERNMENT WEBSITES
Various levels of government regularly release updates about COVID-19 and related services. Check out these links daily for important changes:
- Mississauga COVID-19 Updates
- Peel COVID-19 Website
- Ontario COVID-19 Updates
- Government Of Canada Updates
- Canada Emergency Response Benefit
- Employment Insurance Benefits & Leave (EI)
We hope these resources can help during your stay at home to help with limiting the spread of COVID-19. Remember to check all government websites regularly for changes.
The Cawthra Dental team wishes all of our valued patients the best! Please stay safe and we hope to see you soon.
Dental x-rays are pictures that are taken of our teeth that show the underlying structures beneath the soft tissues, and in areas, we can’t visually see. X-rays are black and white images that show us the density of oral structures. On an x-ray, the lighter a structure is, the denser it is (called opaque), the darker a structure is, the less dense it is (called radiolucent.) Therefore enamel of teeth shows up very light, and gum tissue shows up very dark, almost not noticeable on an x-ray.
Why Are X-Rays Taken?
- Checking for cavities on biting surfaces, in-between the teeth and underneath the gums
- Checking for infections at the root (apex) of any of the teeth
- Monitoring the health and levels of the bone and periodontal ligament support
- Checking the angulation of tooth roots
- Checking for any abnormalities such as cysts
- Monitoring the health of past restorative work
- Checking wisdom teeth impaction
- Monitoring the health of the jaw joint
- Used for patients with dental braces (before and after)
- In kids, checking the eruption of baby teeth
- In kids, checking for extra or missing adult teeth under the gums
When Are X-rays Recommended?
X-rays are recommended based on an individual’s need. If there is an issue or concern, an x-ray will be needed to get a full picture of what is going on. Cavity check-up x-rays are recommended every 1-3 years based on cavity risk. Someone who has never had a cavity will be recommended less frequently, and someone who is cavity prone will be recommended more often.
X-rays are only taken when needed/ recommended. Most dental offices offer digital x-rays, which significantly reduce the radiation exposure. Lead aprons are used to cover the vital structures in the neck and torso. Regular check-up x-rays (a series of 4 x-rays) are around the same amount of radiation as the average background radiation in 1 day or the radiation from a 1-hour flight (very minimal!)
The difference between a complete oral exam and a regular check-up exam is the detail of the diagnosis during the exam. During a complete oral exam, time will be taken to review and check every facet covering overall medical health, gum and teeth health. A comprehensive oral exam is recommended every 3-5 years or at the first visit to a new dental office. It gives a complete break down of the health of your teeth, gums and mouth. Comprehensive oral exams may be recommended more frequently if there are concerns.
What to Expect During a Complete Oral Exam
- Complete or updated medical history. Often your overall health affects your oral health and visa versa.
- Addressing your chief concerns regarding any cosmetic or functional problems
- Extraoral exam checking the tissues of your face, lips and neck
- Checking the health of your lymph nodes and looking for any lumps or bumps in the neck
- Checking your TMJ which is the jaw joint for any pain, clicking or deviation
- Intra Oral exam to check the tissues of your cheeks, tongue, the roof of your mouth, floor of your mouth and throat
- Oral cancer screening, checking for any abnormalities
- Checking for any signs of clenching or grinding
- Completing or updating the odontogram and recording any missing teeth, current fillings, dental crowns, implants, bridges, etc.
- Checking for any cavities, chips, wear, fractures, infections, etc.
- Taking any x-rays that are recommended to check the health of your teeth and bone
- Pictures may be taken of your teeth and mouth to assess for changes over time
- Completing a periodontal exam which is an exam of the health of the gums and the best indicator of gum disease
- Reviewing brushing and flossing habits
- Creating a customized treatment plan based on your needs
- Making any necessary referrals such as to an oral surgeon, orthodontist or periodontist