Dental frequent questions and answers

Ideally the first visit for a child should happen at 1 year old.  Although there are some teeth erupted by this age, this first visit is more to educate the parents on how to care of these teeth.  The first official check up and cleaning for the child can occur as early as 2.5 years depending on how cooperative they are!

A tooth that has had root canal therapy can be slightly weaker than it originally was.  A crown placed over the tooth can help to strengthen the tooth and prevent fractures in the futures.  Smaller teeth such as lower front teeth that are not necessarily used for chewing can sometimes be left without a crown.

A night guard is a clear dental appliance made from acrylic.  It has a hard and soft component that resembles a sports guard in appearance.  A night guard is worn to protect the teeth from the action of excessive grinding usually done at night while you’re asleep.  It can also help patients unlearn their grinding habit.

The extra tooth that has erupted is usually the adult tooth.  Having two teeth super-imposed is often quite a normal occurrence.  The baby tooth at this point should be starting to become loose and will typically fall out in the coming weeks on its own.

You should brush your teeth twice a day.  This is so that anything that gets missed in the morning will get removed in the evening.  Flossing should ideally be done once daily preferably before brushing and in the evening.

Dental implants are used to replace missing teeth.  The implant has two components.  The first part is called the fixture and is placed in the jaw bone.  This is the replacement for the tooth root.  It is made from titanium which the body is compatible with allowing for bio-integration.  This integration process occurs over 3-4 months.  The second part of the implant is the crown.  This is fabricated following integration.  The crown is either cemented or screwed into the fixture and the patient has a brand new tooth!

The purpose of x-rays is to check for cavities between your teeth.  These are areas the dentist can’t see visually.  The frequency of x-rays will depend on your risk for getting cavities.  Most people should have x-rays every 2 years to ensure there aren’t any cavities present or forming.

Teeth can appear whiter following a hygiene visit if the staining is more superficial such as from coffee or smoking.  If the cause of the stain is more deeper set then an in office whitening procedure using a peroxide based solution may help

Your dentist will recommend braces when the teeth are crowded and / or not it ideal occlusion.  This can potentially lead to the formation of cavities or jaw joint issues.  Having straighter teeth will make it easier to keep the teeth clean and reduce the likelihood of getting cavities.  It can also help minimize any potential jaw joint problems.


A sports guard is worn when there is a risk of impacting your teeth during physical activity.  They are usually made from a soft rubber material and can come in a variety of colours.  Store bought ones can work but they are usually poor fitting and not very comfortable to wear.  At Churchill Meadows Dental Centre we have been making custom fitted sports guard for all types of athletes for over a decade.  A custom fitted sports guard fits better and can provide better protection.  At our office we charge $25 which is only a fraction of what it can cost elsewhere.  We then donate this amount to Ronald McDonald House.