The Smile Chronicles

Welcome to Pine Seven Dental Centre’s new blog! Check back frequently for office news, fun stuff, and useful oral health tips.

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The Importance Of Baby Teeth

A common myth is that primary or baby teeth are not important because they will fall out. While it is true that we do lose those teeth eventually, they do serve essential functions. Losing baby teeth early can result in negative consequences.

Facts about baby teeth:

  • They begin to come in around six months of age, with the first tooth usually being a lower front tooth.
  • There are 20 teeth in a full primary dentition, and most children will have their full set by age 3.
  • Children begin to lose their primary teeth around age 6. They will have a mixed dentition (a mix of adult and baby teeth) until they lose their last baby tooth, usually around age 12.

Why are baby teeth so important?

  • They are essential for eating and chewing to ensure proper nutrition for a growing child.
  • Primary teeth are essential for normal facial appearance and proper speech development.
  • Primary teeth hold the space for adult teeth to erupt. If primary teeth are lost early, and a space maintainer is not put in place, this may cause the remaining teeth to shift and block the normal eruption of the adult teeth. This can lead to crowding and misplacement of adult teeth.

The main reason for the early loss of baby teeth is decay. As soon as the first tooth erupts in the mouth, it is susceptible to cavities. With proper oral care, cavities are mostly preventable.

primary teeth vaughan on dentist

Caring for baby teeth:

  • The Canadian Dental Association recommends that children have their first dental checkup within six months of the first tooth erupting or by age one.
  • Before teeth erupt, make a habit of cleaning the child’s gums daily with a clean, wet cloth. As soon as the first tooth erupts start daily brushing. Use an age-appropriate soft-bristled toothbrush.
  • Do not put babies to bed with a bottle of milk and do not let milk pool in a sleeping child’s mouth. Milk (including breast milk) contains sugars that can lead to cavities.
  • Brushing will need to be monitored and assisted by parents until the child has the dexterity to brush correctly on their own. This is usually when they can write their name (in cursive writing, not printing).
  • For children less than three years old, swallowing toothpaste may be an issue. A dental professional can assess the child’s risk of decay, and they may recommend the use of a small amount (no larger than a grain of rice) of fluoridated toothpaste to help prevent cavities.
  • For children aged three to six, use a pea-size amount of fluoridated toothpaste when brushing and encourage them to spit out the toothpaste.
  • Floss your child’s teeth daily, especially between the back molars where decay is more likely to start.
  • Limit sugary drinks and foods. Some tooth-friendly snacks are raw fruit and veggies, cheese, nuts, and seeds.

baby milk bottle vaughan on dentist

Signs of decay in baby teeth:

  • White spots or lines forming on the teeth could be an early sign of decay.
  • Dark areas or visible holes.
  • Child complaining of pain in their mouth.

Untreated decay leads to severe pain and infection. If you suspect your child might have a cavity, see your dental professional immediately. Taking good care of their primary set of teeth will help to keep your child healthy and developing properly.

Smoking And Your Oral Health

smoking oral health vaughan dentist

We all know that smoking has numerous adverse health effects. Smoking is a risk factor for a variety of life-threatening diseases such as heart disease, lung cancer, and oral cancer.

However, it also negatively affects oral health. Most of us know that cigarettes cause yellow or brown stained teeth, but there are other serious impacts on oral health to consider.

Smoking Effects On Your Oral health:

smoking oral cancer risk vaughan dentist

Increased oral cancer risk: Aside from contributing to other cancers of the body, a smoker has a five to ten time greater risk of developing oral cancer when compared to a non-smoker. This risk becomes even higher when regular alcohol use is a factor.

Leukoplakia: Regular cigarette use may lead to leukoplakia which are thick white patches that occur on the cheeks or gums. This is a precancerous condition in some cases.

Increased periodontal disease risk: Smoking accelerates the breakdown of the supporting bone and oral tissues in the mouth. If left untreated, tooth loss will occur.

Poor Circulation: Poor or weak blood flow is associated with smoking. This can lead to poor healing and lower immunity to certain bacteria.

Nicotine Stomatitis: The chemicals in cigarettes, along with the heat produced by smoking eventually cause inflammation of the saliva glands located on the roof of the mouth.

Dry Mouth: Smoking also causes Xerostomia or dry mouth. Having a consistently dry mouth increases the risk of developing cavities.

Increased Staining: Teeth become stained over time due to our diet, but smoking accelerates the rate of tooth discolouration. What’s more, once staining is present on the teeth, its rough surface makes it easier for plaque or tartar build-up to stick to.

Bad Breath: Halitosis, or bad breath is another effect of cigarettes. Paired with dry mouth symptoms, it can be difficult to have a mouth that feels fresh.

Altered Taste: Many smokers report having reduced taste or altered taste when eating foods.

Do you have any of the symptoms mentioned above? Contact us to help you get your oral health back on track. Call us now: (905) 856-2535

Thinking About Quitting?

stop smoking quit smoking vaughan dentist

Quitting smoking can be challenging for most people, so it is important to use as many resources as you can to increase your chances.

  • Consider counseling to help you break the habit.
  • Nicotine replacement options such as the patch, lozenges or gum improve your chances of quitting.
  • Talk to your healthcare professional. They can suggest strategies to help you quit, along with prescribing medications to help with quitting.
  • Be accountable by telling your friends and family that you plan on quitting smoking by a certain day.
  • Call the smoker’s toll-free hotline in Canada at 1-866-366-3667

quit smoking in vaughan dentist

Once you quit smoking, your body starts to get healthier almost right away. Within twenty-four hours, your risk of a heart attack begins to reduce. After a prolonged time of being smoke-free, the risk of other conditions such as cancer, lung disease, and heart disease begin to decrease as well.

Take control of your oral health, and overall health today by pledging to quit smoking.

Did you know? Dental facts!

DID YOU KNOW?

 Dogs have 42 teeth, cats have 30 teeth, pigs have 44 teeth and an armadillo has 104 teeth.

 The average human produces 25,000 quarts of saliva in a lifetime. That is enough spit to fill 2 swimming pools.

 In Medieval Germany, the only way to cure a toothache was to kiss a donkey.

 Flossing once a day increases your life expectancy by 6 years.

 An elephant’s tooth can weigh over 6 pounds and measure one foot across.

 In 200 AD, the Romans used a mixture of bones, eggshells, oyster shells and honey to clean their teeth.

The average woman smiles approximately 62 times a day while men only smile ~8 times a day!

 A person’s set of teeth is as unique as their fingerprints. Even identical twins do not have the same set of teeth.

Book your appointment now, because it starts with a smile!
Call us today at (905) 856-2535