Alta Dental

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Preventive Dentistry

How can we help you?

We encourage your questions because we want you to be a fully informed participant in your dental care. Your questions also help us understand what matters to you most and how we can help you achieve and maintain optimal oral health.

Here are some of the questions we hear most frequently from our patients, but you may have others that aren't listed here. Please don't hesitate to call us at (604) 876-5032 or email us using our convenient online contact form. 

Preventive Dentistry

We determine the frequency of dental visits based on your individual oral health needs. By seeing you on a routine basis, we can catch problems when they are still small and easy to treat.

Six months is an appropriate interval for many people to maintain a healthy smile, but we may suggest more frequent cleanings and exams based on your needs. The way you care for your teeth and gums, how fast tartar builds up on your teeth, and the type of problems you experience all help determine how often you should have dental exams and cleanings.  

Seeing us at regular intervals allows us to find and treat problems before they cause discomfort and result in an emergency trip to the dentist. During these appointments, we use technology like digital x-rays to give us a highly detailed view of what’s happening inside your teeth. Not only do they help us diagnose small problems, but the x-rays also become part of your permanent patient record so we can refer to them as needed in the future.

Our hygienist will look for signs of gum disease and provide a thorough cleaning. If you show signs of gum disease, they will recommend a treatment plan to restore your oral health.

If you think it’s time for your next exam and cleaning, please call Alta Dental Studio to arrange an appointment.

Hormone and eating habit changes are the big factors for developing gum disease and cavities during pregnancy. If you experience discomfort of gum, such as any pain, swelling, and bleeding, make sure you visit your dentist and don’t leave the condition untreated. Poor oral health during pregnancy can lead to poor health outcomes for the mother and baby.

Gum Disease

Due to hormonal changes during pregnancy, gingivitis or gum inflammation may occur and aggravate resulting in red, swollen and sometimes bleeding gums. If gingivitis is not taken care of, the infected gums may recede over time, the bones that supports the teeth can be lost, and the teeth can become loose and may eventually have to be extracted. Periodontal disease during pregnancy may also lead to undesirable pregnancy outcomes such as pre-term birth and low-birth weight baby. These babies are prone to have developmental problems, asthma, ear infection, and at increased risk of infant death.


Pregnant women may also be prone to cavities as a result of changes in their eating habits. Without proper oral hygiene, cavity-causing bacteria can feed on food residues on the teeth resulting in plaque, and eventually cavities. If cavities are left untreated, and the oral hygiene is poorly practiced, these cavity-causing bacteria can be transmitted from the mothers to their developing babies and can lead to early childhood cavities.

The frequency of dental x-rays is determined by your oral health. If your teeth are healthy and you haven’t experienced any dental problems recently, you probably won’t need an x-ray at every appointment. However, patients whose dental situation is not as stable or who are being monitored by our doctors may require x-rays more frequently.

At Alta Dental Studio, we understand the concerns many of our patients have about radiation exposure. You should know that a set of four bitewing x-rays exposes you to no more radiation than you naturally receive every day from the environment. However, we assure you that your safety and comfort are our priorities, so we offer state-of-the-art digital x-rays that reduce your exposure by as much as 80 percent compared to film x-rays.

Dental x-rays are a vital diagnostic tool that we use to prevent minor problems from becoming major problems. If we recommend x-rays, our doctors will explain why they’re necessary and how they will benefit your treatment. We never recommend x-rays without a good reason, and if you ever have concerns, please let us know so we can address them.

Cavity-causing bacteria can be passed to your child through saliva. Though the babies may not have teeth growing out of the gums at the beginning, they are likely to develop cavities later if the bacteria reside in their mouth.

Continue caring of your own oral health is still very important.

  • Continue with good oral hygiene practices at home. Brush at least twice a day and floss everyday.
  • Use fluoride toothpaste or mouth rinse to prevent tooth decay.
  • Regular dental check-ups and cleaning. Don’t leave cavities and periodontal (gum and bone) disease untreated.
  • Avoid sharing toothbrushes or spoons with your baby.

Practicing good dental care early helps your baby eat and speak clearly. Poor oral hygiene and poor eating habits can increase the risk of developing cavities in early childhood, which may affect the underlying adult teeth.

  • Practice good daily dental care on your baby by cleaning and checking the teeth and mouth everyday.
    • Cleaning: Gently clean your baby's mouth using a soft baby toothbrush or wet face cloth. When baby teeth begin to erupt, use a toothbrush with a grain of rice size fluoride toothpaste. Brush your child's teeth twice a day, in the morning and especially at bedtime. Once your child turns 3 year old, brush your child’s teeth using a "pea-sized" amount of fluoride toothpaste on a soft child's toothbrush. Fluoride toothpaste used in these amounts is considered safe and effective against tooth decay.
    • Checking: Lift the lip to see along the gum line. Look for white or brown spots which may be early signs of tooth decay.
  • Limit sugary foods such as juice, sticky foods, and sugary snacks.
  • Introduce your baby to using a lidless cup with water between 6 and 9 months of age.
  • Avoid putting the baby to bed with a bottle of milk or juice. Rinse after meals and snacks.
  • Visit your dentist within 6 months after your child's first tooth appears or when they are about 1 year old.

Here are some tips for you to maintain good oral health during pregnancy.

  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day. Brush or thoroughly rinse your mouth with water or fluoride mouth rinse after meals and snacks.
  • Use fluoride toothpaste or mouth rinse to prevent tooth decay.
  • Floss your teeth every day before bedtime
  • Eat a variety of healthy foods everyday based on Canada’s food guide. Get enough calcium and vitamin D for you and the fetus to a stronger teeth and bone development. Limit sweet foods.
  • Regular dental check-ups and cleaning are needed during pregnancy. Any pain, swelling or infection in the mouth should be treated right away. Make sure your dentist or dental hygienist is aware of your pregnancy before any treatments, x-rays, local anesthetics, and prescriptions.

According to the Canadian Dental Association, parents are encouraged to bring their child for an assessment within six months of first tooth eruption but no later than one year of age. If you wonder why your little one needs to see us so early, the reason is that baby teeth play a significant role in keeping maintaining their oral health.

Baby teeth are placeholders that leave room in your child’s jaw for permanent teeth to erupt properly. They also help them learn how to speak clearly and navigate solid foods. If a baby tooth is lost too soon because of decay or infection, neighbouring teeth start to drift into the open space. When the permanent tooth is ready to emerge, it may come in at an odd angle because there’s not enough space for it to erupt properly. This can lead to orthodontic issues as your child grows.

It’s a good idea to start early at home by cleaning your infant’s gums with a damp cloth. This routine helps to keep your child’s gums clean, but it also helps them get accustomed to the idea that taking care of their teeth is important. Once they have their first tooth, continue brushing with a soft toothbrush. Limit the number of sweets they consume and help them learn how to make on healthy food choices from the very beginning.

If it’s time for your child’s first visit, please call Alta Dental Studio to arrange an appointment. We love working with children and can’t wait to meet your little one!

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Alta Dental Studio is taking all precautions with COVID-19 in addition to our highest-standard sterilization and infection controls that we have always had in place.

A list of enhanced health and safety-related practices have been firmly implemented