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Dental FAQ

Our Team at Urban Smiles Colwood understands that dental procedures and treatments can be complicated – we built this Dental FAQ page to help keep track of questions that we see patients ask on a regular basis to help other new and existing patients.

Q: At what age should I start taking my child to the dentist?
A: We like to start children off with a positive dental experience early. Children normally get their first teeth by age one. At about three years of age, we offer an introductory visit when they can meet the dentist and hygienist, sit in the chair, see the tools, and allow us to have a quick look in their mouth and at their teeth.

Q: When should I start brushing my child’s teeth and what type of toothpaste should I use?We suggest you slowly introduce a finger toothbrush or tooth brush prior to their first tooth erupting to get them familiar with having something new in their mouth. Routine tooth brushing is important even for baby teeth, as decay can cause your child pain and discomfort and could threaten the health of their adult teeth. Most toothpastes are suitable for kids even those with fluoride but toothpaste aimed at children typically has a mild or more palatable taste to children making brushing time that much easier.

Q: Why is Visiting a Dentist Important?

Visiting the dentist regularly will not only help keep your teeth and mouth healthy, but will also help keep the rest of your body healthy. Dental care is important because it:

  • Helps prevent tooth decay Protects against periodontal (gum) disease, which can lead to tooth and bone loss
  • Prevents bad breath – brushing, flossing, and seeing the dentist regularly will help reduce the amount of bad-breath causing bacteria in your mouth
  • Gives you a more attractive smile and increases your self-confidence
  • Helps keep teeth looking bright by preventing them from becoming stained by food, drinks, and tobacco
  • Strengthens your teeth so that you can enjoy healthy, beautiful smiles for the rest of your life!

Q: How Can I Take Care of My Teeth Between Dental Checkups?

ALWAYS remember to brush your teeth at least two times a day, and floss at least once! Make sure to use toothpaste that contains fluoride, and ask your dentist if you need a fluoride rinse. This will help prevent cavities. Avoid foods with a lot of sugar (sugar increases the amount of bacteria that grows in your mouth causing more plaque and possibly cavities) and avoid tobacco (this can stain your teeth, cause gum disease, and eventually lead to oral cancer). Don’t be afraid to brush your tongue! By brushing your tongue, you will remove food particles and reduce the amount of plaque-causing bacteria. Tongue brushing also helps keep your breath fresh. Be sure to schedule your routine checkup. It is recommended that you visit the dentist every six months.

Q: What is the best time of day to brush my teeth?
A: Ideally, 30 minutes after eating. If that is not possible, once in the morning and once at night is the minimum we would suggest.

Q: How often should I get my teeth cleaned?
A: As a general rule of thumb, most people should have their teeth cleaned every six months but it really depends on your oral health. Some people with gum disease should get their teeth cleaned every three to four months and others may be on a nine-month schedule. Talk to your hygienist about what is best for you.

Q: Why do the dentist and hygienist recommend an electronic toothbrush?
A: While a traditional toothbrush can provide the necessary cleaning if used correctly, studies have found that an electronic toothbrush does a more thorough, consistent job.

Q: What is Gum Disease?

Also known as periodontal disease, gum disease is mostly caused by plaque and bacteria buildup that is not treated in its early stage. Other causes of periodontal disease include tobacco use, teeth grinding, some medications, and genetics. Gingivitis is the beginning stage of gum disease, and, if detected, is treatable. Gingivitis left untreated may turn into gum disease. Advanced gum disease will lead to tooth and bone loss, and is a permanent condition. Brushing your teeth regularly and visiting the dentist every six months will help prevent gingivitis and more severe cases of periodontal disease.

Common signs of gum disease include:
* Red, irritated, bleeding, or swollen gums
* Chronic bad breath
* Loose teeth, or loss of teeth
* Extreme tooth sensitivity
* Receding gum line
* Abscessed teeth

Q: Why do so few dentists offer “laughing gas” (nitrous oxide) when it has been around for over 100 years?
A: Nitrous oxide is not widely available in Victoria as it is costly to install and maintain and is highly regulated. Typically, it only makes sense to install throughout a clinic during construction. We have chosen to invest in the nitrous oxide system as it provides a safe, effective sedation method for nervous or anxious patients of all ages.

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