Dr. Meriano & Dr. Gumber, Pediatric Dentists

Frequently Asked Questions

Why choose a Pediatric Dentist?

Pediatric Dentists have specialized training which prepares them for treating very young children, teens, and patients with special needs. An early positive start to dental care is an important part of establishing good oral and overall health. By scheduling your child’s first dental visit by your child’s first birthday (or first tooth), your child has a dental home and parents are educated early on prevention and what to expect in the years to come. Visiting a Pediatric Dentist early can help avoid unnecessary decay.

Pre-teens and teens are faced with many changes. They become more self conscious, their body changes and snack food consumption rises. An established relationship with Dr. Meriano and Dr. Gumber allows an individualized approach to encourage good oral hygiene and diet practices, deal with behaviour and restore teeth.

Dr. Meriano and Dr. Gumber’s training in pediatric dentistry and experience provides them with the knowledge to provide excellent care for patients with significant medical, physical, and/or psychological challenges.

How do Pediatric Dentists help prevent dental problems?

Regular teeth cleaning and flouride treatments are essential elements of your child’s prevention program, but there is much more that can be done.

Dr. Meriano or Dr. Gumber can apply sealants to protect your child’s teeth from decay. They can also create a mouth guard to prevent sports injuries to the teeth.

What is Preventive Dentistry? Why is it important?

Dr. Meriano and Dr. Gumber specialize in preventive dentistry which promotes healthy mouths and healthy smiles. Healthy mouths help children chew more easily.

Healthy mouths also help children speak more quickly and clearly. Studies show that healthy mouths also help promote better general health because disease in the mouth can often be detrimental to the rest of the body. Additionally, healthy and attractive smiles give children greater confidence in their appearance.

What can I do to help my child enjoy good dental health?

1. Be aware of frequent snacking
2. Promote proper brushing at least twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste
3. Floss once a day
4. Have sealants applied when appropriate
5. Seek regular dental check-ups

What can I do to prevent my child from getting cavities?
Brushing:

Regular, proper brushing is a very important step in preventing cavities. Brushing removes the bacteria that causes tooth decay and gum disease. It is ideal to brush after every meal but twice a day for at least two minutes is the suggested minimum.

Flossing:

If the teeth are tightly touching -you should be flossing. Flossing removes plaque and bacteria between the teeth where the toothbrush cannot reach. Flossing is easier than you think, it just takes practice.

Diet:

A balanced diet is important to overall and dental health. Encourage your child to try a wide variety of foods. Try to limit the consumption of simple sugars and starches, typically found in pre packaged processed foods. The bacteria in our mouth will break these compounds down into acid quickly which will dissolve the enamel on teeth. Sticky sweet foods like fruit snacks, fruit roll ups, dried fruits and candy will stick around the teeth and cause rapid decay. Good snack options include fresh fruits and vegetables, cheese, and yogurt. Water should be the beverage of choice between meals. Try and limit juice consumption and avoid pop and kool-aid.

Fluoride:

Fluoride aids in strengthening tooth enamel, making it more resistant to breakdown by the acids in our mouths and helping to prevent cavities. Fluoride is found in water, toothpaste, rinses, gels, foams, tablets, and varnish. 

How often should a child see their Pediatric Dentist?

Dr. Meriano and Dr. Gumber recommend a first visit by the first year or first tooth with regular check ups about twice per year. Some children will require more frequent visits depending on their unique risks for developing cavities or other problems.

Dr. Meriano and Dr. Gumber will let you know the optimum appointment schedule to meet your child’s needs.

Why do we fix baby teeth if they are going to fall out anyway?

Primary teeth (baby teeth) with cavities should be properly fixed before they break, cause pain, or become infected. Infected primary teeth left untreated, can affect the developing permanent tooth under it, leading to problems. Primary teeth serve to hold the space in the jaws for the underlying permanent tooth. In some cases, if the primary tooth is lost early, “space holders need to be fabricated to hold the space for the permanent tooth, so they are not blocked out.

What can I do to prevent dental injuries?

Dental injuries can be prevented in several ways:

1. Oral injuries during sporting activities can be reduced by always wearing proper mouth guards.

2. Child-proof your home to prevent falls, electrical injuries, and choking on small objects.

My child sucks on fingers, pacifiers, and other objects. Is this bad for teeth and jaws?

This type of sucking is completely normal for babies and young children. Most children will stop sucking on thumbs, fingers, or pacifiers on their own between two and four years of age. Some children continue this activity over a longer period, and this can affect the growth and eruption of new teeth.

Dr. Meriano and Dr.Gumber will carefully watch how your child’s teeth come in and how their jaws develop and can help encourage your child to stop. This advice, coupled with support from parents, helps most children quit. If this approach doesn’t work, they may recommend a mouth appliance that blocks sucking habits.

What are the different types of fillings available? What is the difference between them?

Dr. Meriano  and Dr. Gumber aim to place white (composite) fillings whenever possible. Sometimes the placement of a stainless-steel crown is necessary when the cavity is too large for a filling to be effective.

Our treatment plan is always discussed thoroughly with parents prior to treatment.

How will I know if my child requires orthodontic treatment?

Dr. Meriano and Dr. Gumber can keep an eye on your child’s oral development and can identify malocclusion (crowded or crooked teeth, bite problems) and actively intervene to guide the teeth as they emerge in the mouth.

Dr. Meriano and Dr. Gumber can recommend when orthodontic treatment is required. Early orthodontic treatment can prevent more extensive treatment later.

My child is very anxious about visiting the dentist. How can I calm my anxious child?

Dr. Meriano and Dr. Gumber have special training in helping ease children’s anxiety. Their staff have also been specifically chosen and trained to work with children. The office is designed specifically for children.

As every child and their anxiety is different, Dr. Meriano and Dr. Gumber may discuss different sedation options for your child if applicable.

Will my child require sedation?
Children with high anxiety or an inability to relax may require sedation for their treatment.

Dr. Meriano and Dr. Gumber may recommend sedation for your child’s treatment. Conscious sedation is a method of using medication to relax your child while staying awake. Conscious sedation helps prevent injury and provides a better environment for providing effective dental treatment. Dr. Meriano and Dr. Gumber will discuss treatment recommendations based on your child’s specific needs.

What is Nitrous Oxide/Oxygen? Is it safe?

Nitrous oxide/oxygen is a blend of the two gases. It is an odourless, colourless gas that when inhaled produces a calming effect. Normal breathing eliminates the gas from the body so that there are no aftereffects. Nitrous oxide is very effective in helping to relax children that are worried by the sights, sounds and sensations of dental care. Nitrous oxide is very. It is non addictive, easily taken in and easily eliminated – you just breathe! Your child will be fully conscious and maintain all natural reflexes.

Some children experience nausea with nitrous oxide, so we recommend that you try not to give your child anything heavy to eat two hours prior to the appointment. Children that have difficulty breathing through their nose will not benefit as fully from the effects of nitrous oxide. Nitrous oxide will not be effective for every child. Dr. Meriano and Dr. Gumber will work with you to plan what is best for your child.

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