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13 Aug 2014

When will the tooth fairy come? Ottawa family dentists explain

September is just around the corner, which means new teachers and new shoes. Ottawa family dentists know for parents with children aged five to eight, it’s also the start of a memorable series of school pictures featuring tiny baby teeth, followed by toothless smiles, and then huge adult teeth in still-small faces.

Children are usually quite excited to announce their first loose tooth. Encourage your child to wiggle the tooth gently but not to yank it. Teeth will fall out on their own when they are ready to, and forcing them is not recommended. Family dentists usually reassure their young patients that losing baby teeth is painless, although the emergence of the six-year molars can sometimes cause discomfort, similar to teething pain.

Dentists in Ottawa are often asked when their child will start losing their baby teeth. The rule of thumb is first in, first out. The front teeth that appear in infancy are normally the first to go. Your child can lose teeth up until age 12 when the 12-year molars appear.

Of course, as with all child development, there is a wide range of normal. Babies who get teeth early usually lose their teeth on the early side too. Late teethers are usually the last ones in their class to add their entry to the tooth-fairy book.  Dentists in Ottawa tell parents there is no need to worry if your child falls a little outside the norm. A loose tooth on a four-year-old would still be considered in the range of normal, although your family dentist might want to rule out trauma or decay.  Children with Down ’s syndrome lose baby teeth later, and girls usually lose teeth a little faster than boys. Falling on the later side of the range might give your child’s jaw a little extra time to grow, but if your child hasn’t lost any teeth by age seven, your family dentist might recommend x-rays to check for a bone blocking the permanent tooth from descending. Occasionally, children can develop a double row of “shark teeth,” when permanent teeth come in before the baby teeth have fallen out. Since the adult tooth absorbs the root of the baby tooth, this is a temporary condition and not a cause for concern.

Dentists in Ottawa emphasize the importance of good dental hygiene at this stage. This is the last and only set of teeth your child will have, so make sure you supervise at least one brushing per day up to about age 8 to ensure proper technique. Why not add a new toothbrush to their school supply list while you’re at it? Toothbrushes should be replaced every 2-3 months to be most effective.  Check with your family dentist for any concerns you may have about your child’s teeth.  They will ensure every visit from the Tooth Fairy will be a happy one.

25 Jul 2014

Braces or Invisalign: Which Treatment Option Should You Choose?

If your dentist in Ottawa  has recommended orthodontic treatment to straighten your teeth or fix your bite, you may be wondering whether braces or Invisalign would be the best option for you.  The answer is, it depends.  It depends on the complexity of the work you need done, as well as other factors such as the shape of your teeth, your jaw, and the type of bite you have.  If you are preparing to have orthodontic work done, the best thing is to work with your dentist to determine whether Invisalign or braces are the best option for your particular case.

In traditional braces, brackets are attached to each individual tooth, and then metal wire is attached to each bracket.  You then visit your orthodontist to have the metal wires tightened every few weeks, which over time creates a straight smile and well-aligned bite by moving teeth into their ideal places.  If you have a complex orthodontic problem to fix, metal braces may be the best option for you, and your dentist will be able to advise you if this is the case.  With metal braces, you can expect to wear them for two to three years.

However, if you have a simple or moderate orthodontic issue, Invisalign is probably a better option. This is because Invisalign can move and straighten your teeth way more discreetly, as it does not involve the obvious brackets and wires involved with metal braces.  Invisalign straightens your smile using clear, removable aligners which are worn for 22 hours a day.  You will wear an aligner for around two weeks before visiting your dentist in Ottawa to obtain the next aligner in the series,  this way, the series of aligners gently moves teeth into place over a period of nine to eighteen months.

The advantages to Invisalign over braces are many, including the fact  Invisalign takes less time to straighten teeth than traditional braces. Another advantage is the aligners used are clear and cannot be easily seen, meaning you can still smile with confidence while undergoing the treatment.  In addition, you can remove the Invisalign aligners so you can brush and floss normally, allowing you to maintain much better oral hygiene.  This will certainly make your dentist happy!  And don’t forget  removing the aligners allows you to eat favourite foods such as popcorn and nuts, which are not supposed to be eaten if you are wearing metal braces.

While Invisalign does have many advantages over traditional braces, there is a risk some patients will not wear the aligners enough, or take them out too often, in which case the more permanent metal brace would be a better option.  Therefore your dentist may not recommend Invisalign if they think you do not have the dedication to wear the aligners for 22 hours a day.  And as mentioned, if you have an exceptionally complex case, metal braces may be the best treatment for you.  No matter whether you and your dentist in Ottawa decide  metal braces are right for you, or if you can take advantage of the benefits of Invisalign, the results of orthodontic treatment are worth the cost, frequent dentist visits and slight discomfort, as at the end you will have a beautiful smile that will last for many years to come.