Side Effects of Thumb Sucking

child thumb sucking

Many children turn to thumb sucking as a way to help them feel secure and comforted. It is a habit that begins at a very young age — sometimes while in the womb — and can last for many years. While this isn’t a dangerous habit, it should be stopped before a child’s permanent teeth come in.

Let’s talk about several side effects that may occur if your child continues sucking their thumb and struggles to break the habit.

1. It Can Affect the Teeth’s Placement

Unfortunately for children who continue to suck their thumbs, they will often experience crooked or out-of-place teeth. Sucking on the thumb for long periods of time can cause the child’s teeth to move and affect its placement. However, it isn’t just the teeth’s placement that is altered.

Frequent thumb sucking can also cause an overbite or underbite to form, which will need to be corrected by specialists when the child becomes older.

2. It Can Alter the Roof of the Mouth

When the thumb is constantly in the child’s mouth, it can continually press upon the roof of the mouth. Over time, this can cause the roof of the mouth to become malformed, and it will need professional treatment from a specialist to correct the problem.

3. It Can Cause Speech Complications

Another serious side effect of thumb sucking is that it can affect various aspects in the mouth. These include tongue placement, teeth alignment, and more, which can all affect a child’s speech. With these issues, it can make certain sounds difficult for children to say.

Additionally, children who suck their thumb as their permanent teeth grow increase the risk of having a lisp.

4. More Physically Ill

Due to children constantly placing their finger in their mouth, they are more prone to becoming sick, particularly in their school years. For children who suck their thumb often, it is vital that they wash their hands as much as possible to keep themselves safe and to prevent spreading germs.

For most young children, they will gradually stop sucking their thumbs on their own by the time they are the age of four. But, in some cases, intervention and assistance are needed to help break the habit.

For questions regarding your child’s oral habits or if you have any concerns for their teeth, schedule an appointment with your dentist at Pickering Square Dental today.

Ways to Lower Stress and Stop Grinding Your Teeth

stop grinding your teeth While grinding your teeth is a common habit, if left untreated and not cared for, it can cause oral damage such as shortened teeth, increased sensitivity, broken teeth, severe pain, and more. While there are many causes of teeth grinding, one of the most common is stress.

In many situations, people who experience high levels of stress and anxiety begin grinding and clenching their teeth unknowingly, particularly when they are asleep. To help reduce this destructive habit, many experts suggest stress management techniques. Let’s talk about several of them that have been proven effective.

1. Yoga

Yoga offers many physical and mental health benefits. It is an excellent form of exercise, and it reduces stress, anxiety, and muscle tension. It helps lower the heart rate and blood pressure, and it can improve your quality of sleep. Yoga also encompasses meditation techniques, which helps you focus on your breathing and clear your mind, another popular and effective form of stress management.

2. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

CBT is a popular treatment option to help individuals reduce their stress, anxiety, and other mental health conditions. This therapy is designed to help you change your thinking and the way you behave. It can help you work through stress and the causes of it and change the way you deal with high-stress and high-pressure situations.

3. Take Time for Self-Care

Self-care is an important aspect of stress management. This can look differently for every individual but should be an important piece of their daily routine. This is when an individual sets aside time each day for themselves — to do something they enjoy.

Whether that is participating in a specific hobby or interest, relaxing in a hot tub, visiting the spa, reading a good book, going for a run, etc., it needs to be something the person enjoys and that they look forward to doing each day.

4. Writing About Your Stress

Keeping your stress and negative emotions inside can create muscle tension, anxiety, anger, and more. It can lead to negative effects such as teeth grinding if not released properly. One way to help reduce many of these emotions is through writing. Establish a habit of regularly writing in a journal.

Write about many of the issues you are stressed about and develop a plan to overcome them. It is also important to write about things you are grateful for. Expressing and showing gratitude for various things in your life will help you focus on the positive and cancel out those negative feelings.

If you or a loved one grinds their teeth, visit with your dentist at Pickering Square Dental. Your dentist can help you develop a treatment plan to stop the problem before it causes further damage.

5 Tips for Getting Your Reluctant Kids to the Dentist

Do you have a hard time getting your kids to the dentist? Well, you are certainly not alone.

It is actually very common for children to experience a fear of visiting the dentist.

Our Top 5 Tips to Help Your Child Through a Dental Visit

While fear of dentists can spring up for many reasons, science has found that a child’s fear is often a result of a parent’s own dental anxieties. This is why it is important for parents to take steps to neutralize these fears so the child can move past them.

Here are some tips to help make an anxious child’s dental visit a breeze.

1. Give Advanced Notice

Before the big day, be sure to give your child an advanced warning that a dental visit is coming up.

Children thrive on predictability and giving them plenty of warning will allow them the time that they need to process any anxiety or ask you any questions they may have.

2. Be Honest and Straightforward

If your child has questions, try to answer them honestly. At the same time, also try not to overwhelm an anxious child with too much information, as this will only heighten their distress.

Whatever you do, never lie to a child to try to soften the blow, this will only make them more distrustful of experiences in the future, and they might not take you at your word in the future.

3. Bring Along a Favourite Toy or Comfort Object

Having a familiar toy can do a lot to comfort a child and help lessen anxiety and stress.

In addition, by associating the experience with a beloved object, the child is likely to be less fearful and hold more positive associations of the experience.

4. Stay Calm and Relaxed

It can be difficult to remain composed when your child is upset or in distress, but if they throw a tantrum at the dentist office, it is important to try to remain as relaxed and collected as possible.

If you become agitated, the child is likely to sense your anxiety and they will believe that their own fear is justified. Remaining calm will demonstrate to a nervous child that there is nothing to fear.

5. Trust Your Dentist

Remember that your dentist is a qualified professional who is here to help. They deal with children on a daily basis and are well informed as to how do to handle a fearful child.

And, don’t be afraid to ask your dentist for their advice.

We Are Highly Experienced in Pediatric Dentistry and We’re Happy To Help Teach Little Ones About Proper Dental Care

Here at Pickering Square Dental, we understand how hard it can be to get your little ones into the dentist office. That’s why we are here to help. We have a full staff of qualified professionals who are here to guide you through every step of the process.

To learn more, come and check us out in person, contact us online, or give us a call at 905.420.1777


Taking the Fear Out of a Dental Visit – 5 Tips for An Easy Appointment

Did you know that an estimated 40% of Canadians have a fear of visiting the dentist?

Despite many impressive technological advances that make most types of dental work a breeze compared to what they once were, dental anxiety is still a very common occurrence. This is primarily because fear is a psychological phenomenon, but one that still feels very real, nonetheless.

In addition, there are numerous variations of fear that people can experience when it comes to a visit to the dentist. Some people may have a fear of needles, some may dislike drills and other dental tools, and some might be self-conscious about their oral health and hygiene.

Our Top 5 Tips to Make Your Dental Visit Easier

The good news is that it is totally possible to overcome your dental anxiety and walk into your dentist office with confidence.

Here’s how:

1. Be Honest and Straightforward About Your Fears

If you are afraid of needles, drills, or anything else, be sure to let your dental professional know so that they can numb the area and make the experience less stressful for you.

Also, if you would like an anti-anxiety pill, be sure to ask if this is possible in advance of your appointment.

2. Bring Along a Friend

If you’re nervous about visiting your dentist, ask a friend or relative to join you. You will be surprised at how much just having somebody to talk to and support you will lessen the stress of the experience.

3. Talk to Your Dentist or Dental Hygienist Before Your Appointment

When you let your dental professional know about any fears or anxieties before your appointment, they can inform you about what to expect during the experience.

Many patients later report that their fear was much worse than the actual visit. By managing expectations in a realistic way, you will prevent your mind from running away with you and creating any unnecessary stress.

4. Arrive Early the Day of Your Appointment

When you are distressed, feeling rushed will only serve to compound that feeling.

Arriving early for your appointment and giving yourself some time to sit down with a magazine, book, or even your headphones as you wait will help stop the flow of adrenaline, automatically sooth your system, and help you feel relaxed and prepared.

5. Prioritize Your Oral Hygiene

By educating yourself on good oral hygiene and making it a priority to follow through, you are much more likely to have a pleasant and positive dental experience, and you’ll realize that your fears are unfounded.

We Are Committed to Your Oral and Emotional Health

At Pickering Square Dental, we understand that visiting the dentist can be a truly nerve-wracking experience. That is where we go out of our way to provide exceptional service, quality, and professionalism so that you will have renewed faith in dental professionals.

We believe that education is the key to a better dental experience for everyone. To learn more, contact us online or give us a call at 905.420.1777 today!

The Basics On Gum Health

When it comes to oral health, a lot of people are only doing half the work that they need to, and it tends to start with your gums. Half of the U.S. population over 30 has some form of periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, and it’s a problem here in Canada as well. The bad news is that if left unchecked, unhealthy gums can be painful and potentially even lead to loose or lost teeth if the gums recede. The good news is that it’s very possible to keep your gums healthy with basic oral health practices.

Where gum trouble starts is when plaque starts to build up along the gumline as opposed to on the surface of the teeth. The earliest stage of gum disease is gingivitis, where the presence of this bacteria along the gums causes symptoms like redness, tenderness, or bleeding when you brush your teeth. This can be reversed, though, unlike periodontitis, which is the stage where the bones and fiber supporting your teeth start to be impacted.

Along with what we mentioned before, other symptoms of gum disease include prolonged bad breath, gums that start to pull away from the teeth, or pain when chewing. Factors like smoking, diabetes, or taking certain medications may lead to increased gum disease risk.

So, now that you know the stakes, what can you do to take care of your gums? One good thing to do is make sure you don’t neglect them during your brushing and flossing. Flossing in particular is useful because it catches those particles that your toothbrush can’t reach. Bacteria that leads to plaque and gingivitis can also grow on your tongue, so make sure that your brush your tongue as well or use a scraper if possible. You also want to be careful with where you store your toothbrush. Covering it or putting it in a closed container may lead to microorganism growth.

Along with making sure to brush your gums and tongue while flossing thoroughly, you don’t really need to do anything else unique besides taking care of your teeth as normal. Try to minimize sugary foods and make sure to meet with your dentist.

Gum health is one of the most commonly neglected parts of oral health, which is why you want your dentist to check on them. Be sure to regularly visit the dentists at Pickering Square Dental to keep your teeth clean and stay on top of other oral health issues.

Busting Myths About Bad Breath

There are few things people dread when they’re in a social situation or out on the town like a case of bad breath. While it’s embarrassing, a lot of people get in the habit of using things like mouthwash or oral sprays to try and “get rid” of bad breath. However, the thing about it is that these mask bad breath rather than treating the root cause. Working through this issue is key to keeping your breath fresh.

The true root cause of bad breath is bacteria developing in the mouth. When you don’t brush or floss on a regular basis, bacteria tend to grow on the little pieces of food left in your teeth. These bacteria release certain compounds that contribute to bad-smelling breath. Some foods have certain oils that can smell also, but technically, any food can lead to bad breath if you don’t take care of your teeth.

The first thing you may be thinking is “but I brushed this morning!” However, remember that brushing for a few seconds isn’t going to be enough to get the job done. Not only do you need to brush for two to three minutes, but you want to make sure you are flossing as well. There are a few other things that lead to an added risk of bad breath as well, like dry mouth or smoking.

One other oral health step that a lot of people don’t take is brushing their tongue or using a tongue scraper to deal with bad breath. A lot of that bacteria ends up on the back of your tongue, and clearing out this can help with breath issues. Speaking of which, this fact is also the reason why the classic tip of breathing into your hands to check your breath doesn’t work. Why is this the case? When you breathe into your hand, the breath doesn’t come out of your mouth the same way as it does as if you were talking to someone. So, the breath that goes into your hand may not pass over the back of the tongue, so you don’t smell anything bad.

Mouthwash isn’t the answer on a permanent basis, but it’s not hard to address bad breath. Most of the time, bad breath is something you can fix with a few oral health practices. In other cases, it may be an indicator of a bigger problem. Be sure to regularly visit the dentists at Pickering Square Dental to keep your teeth clean and stay on top of other oral health issues.


How To Keep Your Teeth Healthy (Besides brushing)

It’s easy to get tunnel vision when it comes to taking care of your teeth. To keep healthy, all you need to do is brush every day, and mix in some flossing, right? In some cases, you can keep your teeth clean with this, but the fact of the matter is that there’s a lot more that you can be doing in terms of your oral health. Here are some key options that can be a bit off the beaten path.

For one thing, don’t forget that when it comes to what you eat, there is such a thing as teeth-friendly foods. Along with avoiding sugary and syrupy foods, be sure to eat plenty of leafy green vegetables as well as dairy foods that are rich in calcium. Why? These foods have nutrients that are essential for keeping your teeth healthy.

If you’re ready to incorporate some new dental tools outside of your toothbrush, a great place to start is a tongue scraper. To use this, simply run the scraper over your tongue at least once a day along you’re your brushing. This is great because it reduces the number of bacteria in the mouth that can end up becoming plaque and tartar. If you find yourself on the go and don’t have any floss, it may be a good idea to use sugar-free gum in a pinch. This is because it can stimulate saliva production, which has a natural benefit for oral health.

In some cases, you may want to turn to the natural and herbal world, and this is where the South Asian tradition of oil pulling comes in. Oil pulling involves using coconut oil or sesame oil and swishing it around in your mouth to take advantage of its anti-bacterial effects. There are a surprising amount of different herbal components that you can make into different mouthwashes. These include aloe vera, sage, and tea tree oil. This helps not only avoid plaque, but also take care of your gums. As a note, though, if you plan on putting these into action, it may be a good idea to check with a doctor first.

Remember, the purpose of some of these practices is to complement your typical oral health routine, not replace it. Be sure to regularly visit the dentists at Pickering Square Dental to keep your teeth clean and stay on top of other oral health issues.


Understanding Dental Implants

A lot of time, despite doing the best you can to take care of your oral health, you may end up losing your teeth or having chipped and broken teeth. These can be caused by issues like gum disease, aging, or accidents, and can be a source of hurt confidence. However, there are many cosmetic options available to help with this issue, and dental implants may be the perfect solution to your problem.

dental implant is basically a metal frame or post that is surgically put into the jawbone beneath your gums. After the implant is put in, your dentist can put a replacement tooth on top it, which is what people will actually see when you smile. Every dental implant has three major parts. The implant itself is a screw, and then there is a piece called an abutment. The abutment is a permanent connector between the implant and false tooth, the crown. Generally, these are made of porcelain or zirconium.

Because of the nature of dental implants, you don’t have to just get one at a time. It’s possible to get implants done for multiple teeth or even entire rows of teeth on the top or bottom of your mouth. However, there are a few things to consider. The ideal candidate will need to be in good oral health and general health, as this is a surgical procedure. In addition, good gum health is important, as is adequate bone in the jaw to support the implant. Also, compared to some of the other options available for replacement teeth, it takes a few months to get the implant completed. The bulk of this time is waiting for your jaw to heal after the initial implant surgery.

There are a variety of different benefits to getting dental implants if you are willing to deal with the expense and the amount of time it takes for them to get installed. For one thing, these are closer to feeling and looking like real teeth as opposed to alternatives like bridges or dentures. Along with aesthetics, these are also the strongest option in term of function, making it easier to eat.

Be sure to bring up dental implants as an option to your dentist, and they will help walk you through what options fit you best. In addition, also regularly visit the dentists at Pickering Square Dental to keep your teeth clean and stay on top of other oral health issues.

Top 5 Beneficial Foods for Oral Health

Nearly 25 percent of Americans are currently dealing with untreated tooth decay.

In addition to causing you physical pain, tooth decay can lead to gum disease, dental abscesses, and even bacteria that travels from the mouth into your bloodstream.

While it’s important to get help for your tooth decay as soon as possible, prevention is the best cure when it comes to a healthy mouth.

What you eat can help you to get healthy teeth.

Read on to learn all about the best foods for your teeth.


What Are the Best Foods for Your Teeth?

Along with regular dental cleanings, what you eat can improve your teeth.

Start by eating more carrots, as this causes your mouth to produce more saliva, lowering your risk of developing a cavity.

Also, top salads and eggs with shiitake mushrooms, which contain lentinan. Lentinan helps to fight off plaque, as it contains antibacterial properties that can protect your gum line and the spaces between your teeth.

Make sure you’re getting your fill of leafy greens, like spinach or chard and kale. They’re high in Vitamin C, which lowers inflammation and gives red blood cell production in the body a boost. Plus, since they take a while to chew, you’ll see an increase in your saliva production.

If you’re looking for an influx of tooth-strengthening calcium without the sugar, opt for a handful of almonds as a snack.

Finally, you might be surprised to learn that eating cheese is great for your oral health. That’s because it actually increases pH levels in the mouth, which makes you less likely to deal with tooth decay as you age.


The Worst Foods to Eat for Healthy Teeth

In addition to discussing the best foods for teeth, you also need to know which foods to stay away from if you want healthy gums and teeth.

First of all, kick your ice-chewing habit, and switch to water instead. The hard texture can damage your enamel and put you at risk for chips and cracks.

Also steer clear of acidic foods, like lemons, limes, and grapefruit. Not only will they make any mouth sores you have worse, but they’ll also quickly wear down your enamel.

Watch out for sticky, gummy foods like dried fruits and sour candies. While they might be delicious, they easily get lodged in between teeth and in your mouth. Plus, they’re high in sugar, which means you’re at a higher risk for developing cavities.


Beyond The Best Foods for Your Teeth

We hope this post has helped to serve as a reminder that eating the best foods for your teeth now — and staying away from ones that could damage them — is a form of preventative dental care.

Of course, you also need to make regular brushing, flossing, and dental procedures a part of your routine.

Our expert team at Pickering Square Dental works to make getting professional dental care as pleasant and comfortable as possible. By combining oral care that takes advantage of the latest technology with a commitment to excellent patient service, we can help your teeth look their best for years to come.

Learn more about our services and book your appointment with us today.

Top 5 Signs You May Have a Cavity

Did you know that almost 100 percent of the adults in the world suffer from some form of tooth decay every year? Additionally, somewhere between 60 and 90 percent of kids suffer from tooth decay as well.

Tooth decay can, unfortunately, lead to cavities. And if cavities are left untreated for a long period of time, they can lead to even more serious oral health issues.

No matter how old you are, it’s important for you to keep a close eye out for cavity symptoms. It’ll allow you to avoid the potentially dangerous consequences that can come along with cavities.

Here are 5 signs that’ll let you know you may have a cavity.

1. Unexplained Toothaches

Do you have a toothache that just popped up out of nowhere? This is one of the most common cavity symptoms.

In some cases, you might have a dull, throbbing toothache that just won’t seem to go away. In others, you might have a toothache that comes and goes and seems to affect you most when you’re eating and drinking.

Either way, a toothache is an obvious sign of a cavity and should be investigated further.

2. Tooth Sensitivity

There are some people who have more sensitive teeth than others. Food and drinks that are hot, cold, sweet, acidic, and sticky may bother them almost all the time.

But if you notice that your teeth are suddenly sensitive to any of these things without warning, it could be because of a cavity. A dentist can check out your teeth to see what is causing your tooth sensitivity.

3. Noticeable Holes in Teeth

If you think you might have a cavity, use a flashlight to shine some light into your mouth and look at the area that’s giving you trouble.

Can you see any small holes in any of your teeth? If so, those holes are cavities that need to be filled.

You can’t always spot a cavity in your mouth, even if it’s a bad one. But many times, it’ll be possible to see cavities as they develop.

4. Tooth Discoloration

It’s not uncommon to see someone who drinks a lot of coffee or wine to experience discoloration in their teeth. But in these instances, all of their teeth will be a shade darker than they used to be.

Tooth discoloration tied to a cavity will usually only affect a small portion of a single tooth. You may see a spot that is slightly whiter than the rest of your teeth or a spot that has turned brown or black.

5. Pain When Biting Down

Do you feel pain when you bite down, even when you don’t have anything in your mouth?

You could very well have a cavity that is affecting the root of one of your teeth. It’s essential for you to get to a dentist as soon as possible for this type of cavity as it could start to take a toll on the bone underneath your teeth.

Seek Treatment If You Experience Any of These Cavity Symptoms

By learning how to tell if you have a cavity and picking up on cavity symptoms, you can prevent cavities from wreaking havoc on your oral health.

The key is catching decay and cavities at the early and preventative stages. This may save you from having to go through extensive dental procedures to fix your teeth and keep your teeth and health in better shape overall.

Contact us to schedule an appointment with a dentist if you suspect you might have a cavity.