Facts you should know about dental insurance
- Dental Insurance is a contract between you, your insurance company, and your employer. Often the insurance company will not give us any direct information regarding your coverage.
- Many businesses are concerned about cost when choosing an insurance plan. They may elect to have dental fees paid at a different rate than what is charged by the dentist. This means that even if your insurance coverage is 100%, you may be paid at a lower rate than what is charged by our office.
- Information provided to you by your employer will assist us in helping you understand your insurance coverage. Please bring your newest information booklet along with your coverage numbers.
- Some insurance companies have a $500 minimum before they will do a pre-determination for treatment. If you have a concern about a certain dental procedure which is less than $500 we will be happy to give you the procedure code so you can follow up with your insurance provider.
- Almost all insurance companies have an annual maximum. This maximum may be based on a calendar year or may run for 12 consecutive months beginning any time throughout the year.
- The amount of benefits you are entitled to is related to the plan your employer has purchased and not to the value of dental services received.
Congratulations On Your New Arrival Early Childhood Caries Early Childhood Dental Care Infant Oral Care
Congratulations On Your New Arrival
This is an exciting time for you and your family. Although your new baby seems so little, it is never too early to start them on the right track for a lifetime of good dental health. Here is some information to help you along the way. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call our office.
Eruption sequence for primary teeth:
|Upper Incisor||7-12 months|
|Lateral Incisor||9-13 months|
|Canine (cuspid)||16-22 months|
|First Molars||13-19 months|
|Second Molars||25-33 months|
|Lower Incisor||6-10 months|
|Lateral Incisor||7-16 months|
|Canine (cuspid)||16-23 months|
|First Molars||12-18 months|
|Second Molars||20-31 months|
How soon should I start brushing my baby’s teeth?
Even though your newborn does not have teeth, we recommend you regularly wipe out their oral cavity with a small wet face cloth or gauze wrapped around your finger. This can be done at any time throughout the day and even at this early age you are preparing your child for routine dental care. When their first teeth erupt, you can begin to use a small infant-sized toothbrush.
How do I brush, as she/he seems to put up quite a fight?
Hold your baby cradled so their head is in the crook of your arm. Try to encourage your baby to mimic mouth movements. They are very eager to imitate you. Encourage them to brush their own teeth. They will not have the dexterity to brush well on their own until about age 5, so it will be up to you to make sure you are doing the thorough cleaning twice a day.
How do I choose the right toothbrush for my baby?
A toothbrush should have a small easy to grip handle, soft rounded bristles and 3 to 4 rows of bristles.
How often should I change my baby’s toothbrush?
We recommend changing your infant’s toothbrush every 2-3 months or more frequently if they have been sick.
What can happen to my baby’s teeth if they take a bottle to bed? Or if they use one frequently throughout the day?
A baby’s teeth can decay very quickly if they are constantly in contact with sugary fluids such as formula, breast milk or juice. This is known as baby bottle caries. It is important to limit when you allow your baby to have the bottle (e.g. at mealtimes). If your baby needs to have a drink throughout the day, offer fluids from a cup or give them water only from their bottle.
How can I help my child be more comfortable when he/she is teething?
Cold things relieve the discomfort of teething. A teething ring chilled in the refrigerator or a cold face cloth to chew on will often give your little one relief. If this does not provide needed relief consult with your pediatrician or give us a call.
Thumb sucking vs. pacifiers – What’s the best choice?
It’s a natural process for infants to suck their thumbs and most will give up this habit around the age of 2. Thumb sucking becomes a problem if it continues up to the age of 5 to 6. At this time there are dental development problems.
A pacifier is also acceptable for infants and some people argue it is easier to take away than the child’s thumb. We do recommend if your child is using a pacifier to use an anatomically correct one and to check it often for signs of wear.
Pacifier Safety Tips
- Wash your baby’s pacifier if it falls on the floor
- Check the rubber for any signs of cracking or drying by pulling on it
- One-piece pacifiers are better as there are no parts to break off
- Make sure pacifier is age appropriate (check packaging)
- Don’t coat the pacifier with anything sweet, as this could lead to cavities if primary teeth are present
- Do not hang pacifier around baby’s neck. Attach to clothing with a clip.
When should I bring my child to have his/her first cleaning and checkup?
It is recommended to bring your child in for their first visit around the age of one.
Early Childhood Caries
Early Childhood Caries (ECC): decay (cavities) in the primary dentition (baby teeth) at the age of 5 ½ years or less
- Can also be known as “nursing caries” and “baby bottle tooth decay.”
- Can cause pain and infection, which can affect your child’s ability to eat, potentially causing nutritional deficiencies.
These cavities can spread to the secondary dentition (adult teeth), which start erupting at age 5 to 6 years. Plus, baby (primary) teeth are required to hold space for the future adult teeth, some of which may not erupt until age 13.
What Are Some Risk Factors in Early Childhood Caries?
- Frequent intake of fermentable carbohydrates (sugars), including liquids such as juice or pop.
- Sleeping with a baby bottle and prolonged sippy cup use, both of which cause pooling of liquids in infant’s mouth.
- Enamel defects on teeth
- Prolonged use of medications containing sugars
- Health conditions that restrict saliva flow
- Bacteria (S. Mutans) that can be transmitted through saliva from a primary caregiver (mom, dad, etc.) to your child.
Prevention of Early Childhood Caries
The Canadian Dental Association recommends that an infant’s first dental visit should happen as early as 6 months after their first baby tooth erupts and no later than 12 months of age.
This aids in the early detection of childhood caries, assess your child for the risk for caries and helps us develop a preventive program that suits your child’s needs.
Early Childhood Dental Care
When should my child see the dentist?
The first visit to the dentist is an important one. We recommend having your child seen around their first birthday.
When should my child have dental x-rays?
After a thorough exam, if we note any suspicious areas, we would take digital radiographs. Dental x-rays can detect decay in between the teeth. If left undetected decay in children can progress very quickly.
It looks like my child has dark spots on his/her back teeth – what could this be?
Dark spots are children’s teeth may be a sign of decay. The deep grooves and pits of back teeth are susceptible to decay because they are harder to clean than other areas.
How often should my child brush his teeth?
We recommend brushing 3 times a day for 2-3 minutes at a time. At one of those brushings it important that you brush with your child to ensure the plaque is thoroughly removed from all tooth surfaces. A child doesn’t have the dexterity to do a completely thorough brushing until around the age of 9.
What kind of toothpaste and how much should my child use?
When your child can ‘spit out’ the toothpaste, a pea-sized amount of fluoridated toothpaste can be used. If a child cannot ‘spit out” use a toothpaste with no fluoride added. Brand and flavour of toothpaste is an individual preference.
At what age should I floss my child’s teeth? How do I floss?
We recommend flossing as soon as your child’s primary molars are present. These teeth are usually tighter together than the front teeth and are more vulnerable to decay. Have your child in a lying down position with their head inyour lap. Have them open wide and using the floss, gently see-saw the floss in between your child’s teeth and pull up to remove.
How many primary teeth will my child have?
There are 20 primary teeth. 10 on the top and 10 on the bottom.
When will my child lose their first tooth?
Children usually start to feel their teeth loosen around the age of 6. Some children will have loose teeth as early as 4 years and some as late as 8 years.
My child has a tooth coming in behind his baby teeth on the bottom, and the primary tooth isn’t lose yet?
This is a common eruption pattern in children. As the permanent tooth erupts, it will begin to migrate forward and place pressure on the primary tooth to loosen it. Encourage your child to wiggle the tooth throughout the day until it is finally loose enough to come out. Occasionally these teeth will not loosen by themselves, and it is necessary to have us remove the tooth.
A word about nutrition…
Healthy snacks and meals are very important in our children’s development. The dental profession is seeing a rise in decay in very young children. Toddlers often snack on crackers and raisins throughout the day. This is often washed down with juice and is a very bad combination for their teeth. Please consider water instead of juice and brush more often when you can. If brushing isn’t an option, rinsing with plain water can help.
Infant Oral Care
We recommend you start cleaning your infant’s mouth before their teeth come in. This allows you and your child to be familiar with the routine of keeping a clean mouth.
- Use a soft toothbrush or a soft, clean, damp cloth wrapped around your finger.
- The goal is to wipe all surfaces of the gums after every feeding.
Once the first front tooth (incisor) erupts:
- Start using a soft toothbrush with water to brush teeth and gums two times a day (morning and bedtime).
- Floss once a day.
When all incisors are present:
- Use a soft toothbrush with a smear of toothpaste not containing fluoride, two times a day (morning and bedtime)
- Floss once a day.
Fluoride is a mineral found in nature that helps to make the outer layer of teeth (enamel) stronger.
Common sources of Fluoride:
- Drinking water, the food we eat, dental clinic, toothpaste
Soothers and Thumb-sucking
Sucking habits are common among many infants and children.
- Encourage your child to stop any sucking habits between the ages of 1 to 3 years
- It is important to stop well before adult teeth start to come in.
- This helps prevent problems with jaw growth and tooth development.
- Put any sugar, honey, or corn syrup on a soother
- These sugary substances can cause cavities.
Custom Fluoride Trays
How often do I wear the trays?
The trays should be worn once a day, preferably before bed.
How much material do I put in the trays?
Place a small ribbon of fluoride in the base of the tray. If you have some excess material, please remove with a toothbrush or a tissue.
How long do I wear the trays for?
The trays should be worn for 4 minutes. After, please do not to have anything to eat or drink for 30 minutes.
What is the best way to clean the trays?
After the trays have been worn, the best way to clean the trays is to run them under warm water and to clean both the inside and outside with a soft bristled toothbrush.
How long do I continue this treatment?
We will have you continue this treatment daily until you are no longer considered high risk.
What do I do when I need more fluoride?
When you are low on your fluoride supply, please call the office and let us know. We will order some for you. It usually takes 2-3 days to arrive at our office.
Who should wear a mouthguard?
Mouthguards are for anyone who is involved in sports, including football, hockey, baseball, inline skating, skateboarding, squash, and bike riding.
How do they work?
They stop the upper and lower teeth from bumping into each other and spread the impact from a fall or collision between all the teeth and the jaws. They also help to keep the teeth from lacerating the gum tissue and lips and can help prevent neck injuries and concussions.
How are mouthguards made?
First, we take an impression of the top teeth. From this impression, a model is made to perfectly represent your upper teeth. A mouthguard is then made to fit this model. Because every mouthguard is custom-made, they fit perfectly, and you don’t need to worry about it dislodging.
How do I keep it clean?
After you wear your mouthguard, please make sure to brush and rinse it thoroughly. Always store it in the case provided so it doesn’t get damaged and stays clean. You may wish to occasionally place it in a cup with some mouthwash and water for a few minutes to help keep it fresh and clean.
How often should it be replaced?
For our adult patients we recommend replacing your new mouthguard every 3-5 years. Children do need to have theirs replaced more frequently because as they grow their teeth and jaw shape changes too. Feel free to bring your mouthguard to your regular exam appointment and we can check the fit.
Pit And Fissure Sealants
What are pit and fissure sealants?
Pit and fissure sealants are plastic coatings that are applied to the biting surfaces of teeth to help reduce the chance of developing cavities in those areas.
Which teeth do you seal?
Teeth with deep pits and grooves are good candidates for the procedure and typically the molars and premolars are selected. Both primary and permanent teeth can be sealed.
How are sealants applied?
First the teeth are cleaned to ensure no plaque is present. The teeth are isolated with cotton rolls to keep them dry. Then a cleaning agent is place and the tooth is washed and dried. The liquid plastic sealant is applied with a small brush and lastly a beam of bright blue light hardens the sealant in 20 to 30 seconds. No cutting of the enamel is necessary, and anesthetic is NOT required.
Why do you use a cleaning solution?
The cleaning solution opens pores in the enamel, allowing the liquid plastic to interlock with the enamel.
How long do they last?
Anywhere from 3 to 5 years or longer depending on your bite pattern. We routinely check the sealants at your regular exams.
Does my insurance cover this?
Most insurance companies cover sealants on children under sixteen. It is considered a preventative procedure. If you have any questions regarding coverage, a pre-determination could be sent to your insurance company to verify coverage.
What is gingivitis?
Gingivitis is an inflammation of the gum tissue. It is the first stage of gum disease and the only stage of gum disease that is reversible. This means with good daily oral hygiene, gingivitis can be controlled and even eliminated.
What does gingivitis look like? Feel like?
The gum tissue becomes red and swollen and may bleed easily when touched by a toothbrush or our dental instruments. Often the gum tissue may be sensitive to touch.
Why do I have gingivitis?
When the plaque present in our mouth is allowed to remain at the gum line it starts to infect the gum tissue. You need to be thoroughly removing the plaque daily for your gum tissue to be healthy.
How do I prevent gingivitis from happening?
The only way to keep gingivitis in check is to brush and floss regularly. Brushing twice a day and flossing once a day should be adequate for most people. The more that you do the less likely gingivitis will occur. When brushing, make sure you are angling the toothbrush at about a 45-degree angle towards the gum line and using gentle circular motion. When flossing, hold the floss in a tight “C” shape around the tooth and gently scrape up and down 2 to 3 times on the side of each tooth.
Can gingivitis be in different areas of my mouth?
Gingivitis can be found in all areas of your mouth, or it can be localized to certain areas.
Can medication effect gingivitis?
Yes. Some medications can affect the gum tissue. If you think that this may be contributing to your oral health, please let our dental team know so we may help you with a dental care program best suited for your personal needs.
Laser Therapy Homecare Instructions
When we use laser therapy in your gum treatments, your aftercare is an important part of your recovery process.
The First 24 Hours:
- Avoid any foods that will irritate your gums. These include acidic foods like citrus, salsa, and vinegar-based dressings, and rough or crunchy foods like corn chips crusty bread, fried foods, popcorn, or nuts.
- Try foods like this instead: eggs, pasta, unbreaded fish or chicken, cooked vegetables, or yogurt
The First Week:
- Be gentle when cleaning the treated area. Carefully place your toothbrush on your gums below the tooth and brush without letting the bristles get below the gumline.
- Floss carefully to remove food debris from between your teeth, taking care not to let the floss get under your gums.