Frequently Asked Questions
Here you will find answers to the most frequently asked questions, however if you don’t find what you are looking for or if you require additional information, our team is happy to answer any questions anytime.Request Appointment
Kids Dentistry FAQs
Read the answers to our most frequently asked questions about dental care for infants, children and teens.
- What is a pediatric dentist?
A pediatric dentist is a dental specialist who only treats kids, much like the pediatrician of dentistry. They have completed 4 years of dental school and then went back to school for 2-3 years of additional training in treating children and adolescents. They are dedicated to the oral health of children from infancy through to the teenage years.
The very young, pre-teens and teenagers all need individualized approaches guiding their behaviour, following their dental growth and development, and helping them avoid future dental problems. The pediatric dentist is best qualified to meet these needs.
- When will my child start getting teeth?
Teething, the process of primary (baby) teeth coming through the gums into the mouth varies among babies. Some infants get their teeth early, and some get them later.
In general, the first baby teeth are usually the lower front (anterior) teeth and usually begin erupting between the ages of 6-8 months.
All 20 primary teeth usually appear by age 3, the pace and order of their eruption varies and is often inconsequential.
Permanent teeth usually begin appearing at age 6, starting with the first molars and lower central incisors.
- At what age should my child have their first dental visit?
According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the Canadian Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and the American Academy of Pediatrics, “first visit by first birthday” is the general rule.
We generally recommend that your child see a pediatric dentist no later than age 2, so that we can insure that good habits are in place early and to make sure that all of the intraoral structures are developing normally.
- What is baby bottle tooth decay, and how can I prevent it?
Baby bottle tooth decay is a pattern of rapid decay associated with prolonged nursing.
It happens when a child goes to sleep while breast-feeding and/or bottle-feeding. During sleep, the flow of saliva is reduced and the natural self-cleansing action of the mouth is diminished.
Avoid nursing children to sleep or putting anything other than water in their bedtime bottle.
- When should I start brushing my child's teeth?
Begin brushing as soon as teeth appear in the mouth. Use a wet soft-bristle infant size toothbrush with plain water or fluoride free toothpaste.
We don’t generally recommend fluoride toothpaste until your little one can spit unless we deem your child to be at high risk for cavities, in which case we may recommend starting a with a small amount of fluoride toothpaste earlier.
Until children can tie their own shoelaces, we recommend that parents brush for their kids. Once a child is ready to brush on their own, parents should still supervise brushing.
Use no more than a pea-size amount of fluoride-containing toothpaste, and make sure children do not swallow excess toothpaste.
- If my child gets a cavity in a baby tooth, does it need a filling?
Primary, or “baby,” teeth are important for many reasons. Not only do they help children speak clearly and chew naturally, they also aid in forming a path that permanent teeth can follow when they are ready to erupt.
Pain, infection of the gums and jaws, impairment of general health and premature loss of teeth are just a few of the problems that can arise when baby teeth are neglected.
In these cases, a dental filling may be required to protect the oral health of your child.
- What are dental sealants and how do they work?
Sealants are a clear or shaded plastic coating applied to the teeth to help keep them cavity-free.
Sealants fill in the grooved and pitted surfaces of the teeth, which are hard to clean, and shut out food particles that could get caught, causing cavities.
Fast and comfortable to apply, sealants can effectively protect teeth for many years.
- How can I protect my child's teeth during sports?
A mouth guard should be a top priority on your child’s list of sports equipment.
Mouth guards, are made of soft plastic and fit comfortably to the shape of the upper teeth. They protect a child’s teeth, lips, cheeks and gums from sports-related injuries.
A custom-fitted mouth guard fitted by our pediatric dentists is your child’s best protection.
- What should I do if my child knocks out a permanent tooth?
First of all, remain calm. If possible, find the tooth and hold it by the crown rather than the root. Replace the tooth in the socket and hold it there with clean gauze or a washcloth.
If you can’t put the tooth back in the socket, place the tooth in a clean container with milk and take your child to your pediatric dentist right away. Call us ahead if you can.
The faster you act, the better the chances of tooth survival.
- Can thumb-sucking be harmful for my child?
While the need to suck is a very natural and normal behaviour, most children stop these habits on their own, prolonged thumb and pacifier sucking habits (past age 4) can create crowded, crooked teeth or bite problems.
If they are still sucking their thumbs or fingers when the permanent teeth come in, a mouth appliance may be recommended by your pediatric dentist.
Read the answers to our most frequently asked questions about orthodontic care for children, teens and adults.
- What is an orthodontist?
An orthodontist is a dental specialist who has received two to three years of full-time education, training and experience (in addition to four years of Dental School) to be able to straighten teeth, correct misaligned jaw structure, and restore the function of your smile.
- What's the best age to visit the orthodontist?
The Canadian Association of Orthodontists recommends that children first visit an orthodontist around the age of seven; only some kids require treatment at an early age, the majority of orthodontic patients wait for the growth of the permanent teeth (between the ages of 11 and 13) before commencing their treatment.
However, orthodontic treatment is not exclusive to children and teens, with about one in every four orthodontic patients being over the age of 21.
Whether you're considering treatment for yourself or for a child, any time is a good time to visit the orthodontist.
- How long does orthodontic treatment with braces take?
The amount of time spent in braces will vary depending on each individual patient, because every smile responds differently to treatment.
Treatment times can take anywhere between six and 30 months, but most common treatments take about 18 months.
- Do braces hurt?
It does not hurt getting your braces on. Your teeth will be sore or tender for the first two or three days after you start your treatment, and again sometimes after your braces are adjusted.
It will take a few days for your teeth, gums, cheeks, and mouth to get used to your new braces.
- How much does orthodontic treatment cost?
The average fee for a full orthodontic treatment (upper and lower braces) will range between 6 and 7 thousand dollars, depending on the treatment, and it will be assessed on your initial visit.
We will assist you in getting as much as you are entitled to get from your insurance company.
- Do I need to brush my teeth more often if I have braces?
With braces, you should brush your teeth after every meal, at least three times a day to keep your teeth, gums, and mouth healthy and clean.
Brushing regularly will help remove any food that may be caught between the braces. You should also floss daily to get in between your braces where your brush isn't able to reach.
Your orthodontist can show you how to properly brush and floss once your braces are placed.
- If I have braces do I still need checkups every 6 months?
Yes! In fact, it's even more important that patients receiving orthodontic treatment visit their dentist regularly. With braces, food may be caught in places that your toothbrush can't reach.
This causes bacteria to build up that can lead to cavities, gingivitis, and gum disease.
Your dentist will work closely with your orthodontist to make sure that your teeth stay clean and healthy while wearing braces.
- Are braces only for children and teens?
No, many adults opt for orthodontic treatment to correct misalignment issues that were left untreated in their youth,
- Will braces interfere with my social activities?
Playing an instrument or a contact sport may require some adjustment when you first get your braces, but wearing braces will not stop you from participating in any social activities.
If you play a contact sport, it is recommended that you wear a mouthguard to protect your braces or appliance.
- Are braces the only orthodontic treatment option?
No, we are proud to offer Invisalign clear aligners as an orthodontic treatment option for children, teens and adults.
New Patients Always Welcome
We're always happy to welcome new patients to our Richmond Hill dental practice, with or without a referral.Request Appointment
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