Practical advise and FAQ

From what age should I start bringing my child to the dentist?

dental clinic Gatineau

The first visit to the dentist can be around the appearance of the first teeth or later in the following six months, or nearing one year of age. The earlier the first visit, the better the chances of preventing dental problems. If you suspect the presence of a cavity in your child, or if his/her brothers or sisters have already had one, don't hesitate to consult with the dentist. However, if your child's oral-dental condition seems normal, we recommend the first visit to be at around two and a half years of age.

What are “bottle cavities”?

dentist Gatineau

Babies can have cavities because they go to sleep with a bottle of milk, formula or juice. Although frequent nursing and nursing during the night with no restrictions can increase the risk of cavities, the majority of nursing children are not affected by bottle cavities.

This type of cavity can occur up to the age of four. Once your child has teeth, check them every month. Be aware of stains or dull white lines that can form on the teeth around the edges of the gums. Be aware of dark colourations on the teeth.

If one of these signs appears, come in for consultation immediately. Bottle cavities must be treated quickly. If not, your child could experience pain or develop an infection.

What’s the difference between the whitening that I can do at home with an over-the-counter product and the whitening that’s done by my dentist?

Emergency dental care

The whitening kits sold in-store don't offer the additional protection that you get at the dentist, because he or she can monitor any secondary effects.

Dentists can use products with a more powerful whitening agent, while also giving patients precise instructions to follow. Also, they are trained to detect and treat secondary effects that patients sometimes notice during whitening. And if a mould is needed to apply the whitening agent, dentists can customize one just for you. Since the products used by dentists are powerful and contain fluoride to control sensitivity, they generally provide better results.

Can whitening toothpastes whiten teeth?

tooth whitening

Whitening toothpastes contain abrasive ingredients that are in no way whitening products. Their action only works on surface stains on teeth.

Some whitening toothpastes contain a chemical ingredient (or whitening agent) that creates a chemical reaction making the teeth clearer. In general, they contain very little whitening agent and do not whiten teeth as well as more powerful products. In addition, they can cause sensitivity, especially to the cold, in some people.

Source: Canadian Dental Association

How many times per year should I see the dentist?

dental appointments

The number of annual examinations depends of the particular needs of each patient. The Order of Dentists recommends a visit every six months. During the examination, the dentist can modify the frequency of visits as needed.

Post-operation advice
after a dental extraction

The day of the surgery

dental surgeon

What to do

  • Keep the gauze compress where the tooth has been extracted for one hour, change the gauze if necessary.
  • Maintain firm and constant pressure by firmly pressing the teeth.
  • If bleeding is excessive, replace the gauze with a moistened tea bag.
  • Relax with your head elevated.
  • Brush your teeth and use dental floss as usual. However, avoid contact with the affected area and use a small amount of water.
  • Take prescribed medication, if required. If not, you can take acetaminophen (Tylenol, Atasol) or an ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) in case of pain. Caution, Aspirine is not advised because it can increase bleeding.

What not to do

  • Spit or rinse your mouth.
  • Drink with a straw or do any sucking movements. Blood clotting helps heal the affected area.
  • Do intense physical activities. Wait 48 hours after the surgery.
  • Drink hot liquids like coffee or soup. Heat can activate blood circulation and bleeding could start again.
  • Smoke or drink alcohol. Wait two weeks after the surgery. Tobacco and alcohol can impair coagulation, increase the risk of infection and slow the healing process.

What to do in case of swelling?

dental emergency

Your face could experience swelling for the first 24 hours following your surgery or up to five or seven days, especially after the extraction of a wisdom tooth. When the swelling goes down, it is possible that you see a bruise appear which could last up to ten days.

The day of the operation
Apply a cold compress on the swollen area. You can wrap some ice cubes in a cloth or use a bag of frozen vegetables. Keep the compress on for 10 minutes and remove it for 10 minutes, alternating. Repeat this process over a period of 24 hours.

The day after the operation
Apply a bit of heat over the swelling. You can make a warm compress by using a hot water bottle or a heating pad wrapped in a towel. The heat enables the circulation of blood to activate and reduces swelling. Contact us if swelling increases after 48 hours or if it persists for more than 7 days.

Jaw pain

dental pain

It is possible that the muscles in your jaw are painful or tight after the operation and that it may be hard to open your mouth for around ten days. This could be due to the mouth being held open during the operation.

What to do

  • Gently massage the jaw muscles with a warm and moist washcloth.
  • Eat foods that are easy to chew like eggs, pasta and bananas.
  • Drink milk shakes, milk and fruit juices.
  • Call the clinic if your jaw muscles are still in pain or if you still have a hard time opening your mouth ten days after the operation.

What not to do

  • Forcefully open your mouth.
  • Chew gum or eat hard foods that are difficult to chew.

Warning signs

emergency dental care

If the following symptoms occur after the surgery, call the clinic immediately.

  • Excessive bleeding more than four hours after the operation.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Fever.
  • The pain has not subsided more than 24 hours after the operation.
  • Swelling worsens 48 hours after the operation.

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