Dental Services for Children
The dentists and team at the Orangeville Dental Centre offer a range of dental services for kids geared to their needs!
Creating Happy Smiles For Life
The Orangeville Dental Centre team is dedicated keeping children's smiles healthy as they grow. In addition to providing dental care and treatment that addresses the requirements of developing smiles, we teach children the healthy at-home dental care habits they need to know right from the start.
Our dentist have cultivated a fun, engaging and comforting office environment for children. We avoid using words like 'drill,' 'needle,' and 'injection', which can be frightening to a young person, and we will work with your child to ensure they feel good about their dental care experience!
Your Child's First Visit
Find out what to expect during your child's first visit at our Orangeville Dental office. Learn More
Keep Baby Teeth Healthy
It's important to maintain the health of your child's primary teeth, because they guide to permanent teeth into the proper positions as they grow. Learn More
Preventive Children's Program
Your child will learn the fundamentals of maintaining good oral health through our Preventive Children's Program We look forward to seeing you and your child for their next appointment. Learn More
FAQs About Children's Dental Care
- What is "baby bottle decay"?
Early childhood caries (cavities), which occur in infants and toddlers are referred to as "baby bottle tooth decay". While most prevalent in the front teeth on the upper jaw, baby bottle tooth decay can affect any, or even all, of the teeth.
If severe baby bottle tooth decay occurs it could result in the dentist being unable to save the affected tooth. In such cases, the damaged tooth will need to be removed, and a space maintainer provided to prevent misalignment of the remaining teeth.
Tooth decay is caused by acid-producing bacteria. These bacteria can sometimes be transmitted from the parents to baby through saliva, a spoon, or a pacifier, but is usually caused by frequent exposure to sweetened liquids. Almost any liquid provided to the child in a baby bottle, (including breast milk, baby formula, juice, or sweetened water), could cause these harmful bacteria to be transmitted .
Taking your child for regular checkups with a pediatric dentist and implementing a good home-care routine can prevent baby bottle tooth decay. Parents should avoid transmitting bacteria to the child via saliva exchange. Rinse pacifiers and toys in clean water, and be sure to use a clean spoon for each person eating.
Fluoride will help to protect you child's tooth enamel by reducing mineral loss and promoting mineral reuptake. Infants have an increased risk of tooth decay when they do not receive an appropriate amount of fluoride.
More tips for prevention:
- Use a clean washcloth after every feeding to clean your child's gums.
- As soon as the teeth begin to emerge use an ADA-approved toothpaste along with an appropriate toothbrush to clean your infant's teeth. Fluoride-free toothpaste is recommended for children under the age of two.
- Once your child has mastered the art of "spitting out" the extra toothpaste you can begin using a pea-sized amount of ADA-approved fluoridated toothpaste. Excessive fluoride use can lead to a condition called fluorosis so it's important not to use too much.
- Giving your child sugary drinks in baby bottles or sippy cups should be avoided. Only fill these containers with water, breast milk, or formula. When your child is about a year old encourage him/her to use a regular drinking cup (rather than a sippy cup).
- Pacifiers should not be dipped into sweet liquids (honey, etc.).
- Eliminate sugary snacks from your child's diet. Encourage them enjoy healthy nutritious foods.
- Children should not be allowed to take a liquid-filled bottle to bed. If the child insists, fill the bottle with plain water.
- Ask the pediatric dentist to review your child’s fluoride levels.
- How will my child's teeth erupt?
The eruption of primary teeth (also known as deciduous or baby teeth) tends to follow a similar developmental timeline for most children. In the fourth month of pregnancy a full set of primary teeth begins to grow beneath the baby's gums. A balanced nourishing prenatal diet is of paramount importance to the infant’s teeth, gums, and bones.
The first primary tooth generally breaks through the gums between the ages of six to 12 months. By three years old, most children have a “full” set of twenty primary teeth. Our dentists will be sure to teach parents and children about prevention strategies.
Usually, the first teeth to emerge are the central incisors (very front teeth) on the lower and upper jaws (around 6-12 months). These (and any other primary teeth) can be cleaned gently with a soft, clean cloth to reduce the risk of bacterial infection. The central incisors are also the first teeth to be lost when the child is about 6 or 7 years of age.
Next, the lateral incisors (immediately adjacent to the central incisors) emerge on the upper and lower jaws (around 9-16 months). These teeth are lost next, usually between 7 and 8 years of age. The first molars, (the large flat teeth towards the rear of the mouth), emerge on the upper and lower jaws when the child is about 13-19 months old. The eruption of molars can be painful. Cool gauzes, teething rings or even clean fingers are all useful in soothing discomfort and soreness. First molars are generally lost between 9 and 11 years of age.
The canine (cuspid) teeth tend to emerge on the upper and lower jaws at about 16-23 months. Canine teeth can be found next to the lateral incisors and are lost during preadolescence (10-12 years old). Second molars complete the primary set on the lower and upper jaw when the child is about 23-33 months old. Second molars can be found at the very back of the mouth and are lost between the ages of 10 and 12 years old.
It's important to remember that each child is unique. Lower teeth usually erupt before opposing upper teeth in both sexes, but baby girls generally have a head start on baby boys when it comes to primary tooth eruption.
Teeth usually erupt in pairs – meaning that there may be months with no new activity and months where two or more teeth emerge at once. Smaller jaw size means that, primary teeth are smaller than permanent teeth, and they appear to have a whiter tone. An interesting mixture of primary and permanent teeth is the norm for most school-age children.
- How can I prepare for my child's first dental visit?
There are a number of things parents can do to make their child's first visit enjoyable.
Here are some helpful tips:
Have 2 adults along for the visit: Infants can become fussy when having their mouths examined. Having another adult along to soothe the infant allows the parent to ask questions and to attend to any advice the dentist may have.
Leave other children at home: Other children can be distracting to the parent and cause the infant to fuss. Leaving other children at home (when possible) makes the first visit less stressful for everyone.
Avoid intimidating language: Our staff are trained to avoid the use of words such as “drills,” “needles,” “injections,” and “bleeding.” It is important for parents to use positive language when talking about dental treatments with their child.
Provide positive explanations: It is important to be positive when explaining the purpose of the dental visits. Explaining that the dentist “helps keep teeth healthy” is much better than saying that the dentist “is checking for tooth decay and might have to drill the tooth if decay is found.”
- Why is dental care for children so important?
Caring for your child's dental health is critical for a number of reasons:
- Speech production and development: When learning to speak clearly the proper positioning of primary teeth facilitates correct syllable pronunciation and prevents the tongue from straying during speech formation.
- Eating and nutrition: Proper chewing motions are acquired over time and with extensive practice. Healthy primary teeth promote good chewing habits and facilitate nutritious eating. Children with malformed or severely decayed primary teeth are more likely to experience dietary deficiencies, malnourishment, and to be underweight.
- Straighter smiles: A major function of the primary teeth is to hold an appropriate amount of space for the developing adult teeth. These spacers facilitate the proper alignment of adult teeth and promote jaw development. If left untreated, missing primary teeth could cause the remaining teeth to “shift” and fill spaces improperly. In the case of missing primary teeth, dentists will often recommend space-maintaining devices.
- Excellent oral health: The onset of childhood periodontal disease can be caused by severely decayed primary teeth. As a result of childhood periodontal disease, oral bacteria invade and erode gums, ligaments, and eventually bone. Primary teeth can drop out completely if left untreated. To avoid periodontal disease, children should practice an adult-guided oral care routine every day, and infant gums should be rubbed gently with a clean, damp cloth after meals.
- What is fluoride and why is it important?
Fluorine, a natural element in fluoride, has proven to be effective in minimizing childhood cavities and tooth decay. Fluoride can be found in most community water supplies and is a key ingredient in many brands of toothpaste, oral gel, and mouthwash. Fluoride is an important part of any good oral care routine but overconsumption can result in a condition known as fluorosis. The pediatric dentist is able to monitor fluoride levels, and check that your child is receiving the appropriate amount.
Fluoride fulfills two important dental functions: Fluoride helps staunch mineral loss from tooth enamel, and it promotes the remineralization of tooth enamel.
- I'm pregnant. How does this affect me?
With so much to do to prepare for the new arrival, a dental checkup is frequently the last thing on an expectant mother’s mind. But pregnancy is an important time for the unborn child’s oral health and overall health.
Maternal periodontal disease (gum disease) has been linked to premature babies, babies with low birth weight, maternal preeclampsia, and gestational diabetes. Which is why it's so important for mothers to maintain excellent oral health throughout the entire pregnancy.
- Can thumb sucking and pacifier use damage children's teeth?
Sucking is a natural, instinctual baby habit. Infants often derive a sense of security, comfort and relaxation from using a thumb or pacifier as a sucking aid.
The vast majority of children will cease using a pacifier before the age of four years old, according to research from the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD). Thumb sucking tends to be a harder habit to break and will sometimes persist for longer without intervention. Children are at high-risk for developing dental complications if they continue to suck thumbs or pacifiers after the age of five, and particularly once permanent teeth begin to emerge.
Pacifier and thumb sucking damage tends to occur over a prolonged period of time which makes it difficult to assess with the naked eye. Some of the risks associated with prolonged thumb sucking and pacifier use are listed below:
- Jaw misalignment: Over time pacifiers and thumbs can guide the developing jaws out of correct alignment.
- Tooth decay: Parents will sometimes attempt to soothe infants by dipping pacifiers in honey, or other sugary substances. It's important to note that oral bacteria feed on sugar and emit harmful acids. Those harmful acids attack tooth enamel and can lead to pediatric tooth decay and childhood caries.
- Roof narrowing: Pliable roof structures of the mouth can begin to narrow (as if molding around the sucking device) with prolonged, repeated exposure to thumb or pacifier sucking. This can cause problems later in childhood with developing teeth.
- Slanting teeth: Thumb or pacifier sucking can cause growing teeth to slant or protrude. In addition, thumb sucking and pacifier use in later childhood increases the need for extensive orthodontic treatments.
- Mouth sores: Aggressive sucking (popping sounds when the child sucks) can cause sores or ulcers to develop. Passive sucking is much less harmful than aggressive sucking.